ffmn R'fflts - Urtfoldtncj of /\weriCM Tradition.
Unfolding of the American Tradition
A SELECTION OF DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS
Division of Historical Policy Research • Office of
Public Affairs • Department of State • • 19 49
This projeot was undertaken at the request of tha Division
of United Nations Eeonoalc and Social Affaire. The compilation
was oade by Letitla A. Lewie of the Foreign Po-llcy Studiee Branch,
Division of Hietorloal Policy Research.
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. 8. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. - Price 45 cents
Unfolding of the American Tradition
A SELECTION OF DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS
Division of Historical Policy Research • Office of
Public Affair s • Department of State • • 1949
The United States and the other Members of the United Na-
tions have pledged themselves under the Charter of that organi-
zation to cooperate in the age-old struggle for the promotion
of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and
fundamental freedoms. In this cooperative effort, it is im-
portant that we Americans be familiar with our own concepts of
human freedom, their origin, and their development. The docu-
ments and statements in the present study have been selected
with this objective in mind.
When our forebears sailed westward across the Atlantic Ocean
to seek a new start in a new land, they brought with them vari-
ous aims, plans, and aspirations. One hope common to most of
them, however, was a fuller freedom for the individual — religious
and political. The new national way of life which they founded
in the New World reoresented the fusion of many elements — the
teachings of the Holy Bible regarding the worth of every human
soul; Greek thought and civilization, in which the elevation of
the individual was a prevailing principle; Roman civil lav;; the
philosophic utterances of Influential thinkers of East and West;
Anglo-Saxon parliamentary government;
In the New World, the early settlers molded this legacy
into a way of life characterized by greater stress on the rights
of the individual than the world had ever seen. Moreover, they
crystallized the protection of these rights into written con-
stitutions, carefully formulated legal assurances, and ironclad
limitations on the powers of government.
Each succeeding generation has made its contribution to the
body of American thought on fundamental human freedoms, with the
result that every American today may look with pride upon the
American tradition of individual rights and can rest assured that
it forms an Important contribution to the outlook of today's and
tomorrow's world on human rights.
The materials contained in the present study do not purport
to be all-inclusive; nor do the quotations necessarily represent
in each case the basic philosophy of the person quoted. Readers
seeking additional documentation will find important materlale in
the annual Yearbook on Human Rights published by the United Na-
tions. These Yearbooks cover law and usage in the various member
states. The Issues for 1946 and 1947 contain the texts of pro-
visions concerning human rights in the constitutions of the vari-
ous countries, Including the Federal and State Constitutions of
the United States.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
I. HISTORIC DOCUMENTS 1
II. SIGNIFICANT STATEMENTS 39
III. DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UNITED NATIONS 63
A. Documents --------------.---65
B. Statements -------- __-_--__ 67
C. Universal Declaration -- — ___75
TOPICAL INDEX 83
LIST OF DOCUMENTS
Part I - HISTORIC DOCUMENTS
(See also part III)
Magna Carte -------------- 1215
English Petition of Right 1628
Agreement of the People of
Maryland Toleration Act --------
Rhode Island Colonial Charter - - - - -
Habeas Corpus Act of the British
English Bill of Rights.
Pennsylvania Charter of
Letter from the First Continental
Congress to the People of
Declaration and Resolves of the
First Continental Congress - - - - -
Virginia Declaration of Rights - - - -
Declaration of Independence ------
Articles of Confederation -------
Virginia Statute of Religious
Northwest Ordinance ----------
Constitution of the United States
and Amendments -----------
French Declaration of the Rights
of Man and of the Citizen -----
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions - - -
Treaty Ceding Louisiana --------
Texas Declaration of Rights ------
Emancipation Proclamation -------
Puerto Rican Bill of Rights -----
Atlantic Charter ---- -- - 1941
Four-Power Agreement on Crimes
Against Humanity - - ------ 1945 ------ 32
Peace Treaties with Bulgaria,
Hungary, Italy, and Rumania - - - - 1947 ------ 33
American Declaration of the
Essential Rights and Duties
of Man --- __________ 1949 ______ 34
Part II - SIGNIFICANT STATEMENTS
(See also part III)
The Bible 41
Confucius c. 551-478 B.C. 41
Pericles c. 495-429 B.C. 42
Plato c. 428-348 B.C. 42
Aristotle c. 384-322 B.C. 43
Cicero c. 106-43 B.C. 43
Roger Williams 1604 (?)-1683 43
John Milton 1608-1674 44
John Locke 1632-1704 44
Putney Debates ------- - 1647 ------ 45
Charles, Baron de
Montesquieu ------- 1689-1755 ______ 45
Francois M. A. de Voltaire - 1694-1778 - 46
Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790 46
Samuel Johnson ------- 1709-1784 _-__-_ 47
Jean Jacques Rousseau - - - - 1712-1778 ------ 47
Edmund Burke 1729-1797 47
George Washington _ - - 1732-1799 ------ 48
Patrick Henry 1736-1799 48
Thomas Paine 1739-1809 48
Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826 49
Andrew Jackson ------- 1767-1845 ------ 50
John Qulncy Adams - - - - 1767-1848 ------ 51
Ralph Waldo Emerson ----- 1803-1882 ------ 51
John Stuart Mill 1806-1873 52
Abraham Lincoln - - - - 1809-1865 - - _ - 52
Elizabeth Qady Stanton 1815-1902 -» 53
Walt Whitman 1819-1892 53
55. Oliver Wendell Holmes 1841-1935 54
56. Susan B. Anthony 1820-1906 54
57. William McKlnley 1843-1901 55
58. Woodrow Wilson 1856-1924 55
59. Theodore Roosevelt ----- 1858-1919 ------ 56
60. Nicholas Murray Butler 1862-1947 57
51. Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882-1945 57
62. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt - 1884- ______ 58
63. Harry S. Truman ------- 1884- ______ 59
64. Dwight D. Eisenhower - - - - 1890- ______ 60
65. Wendell L. Willkle 1892-1944 60
Part III - DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UNITED NATIONS
66. Declaration by United Nations
67. Dumbarton Oaks Proposals - ~
68. Charter of the United Nations
- - 1942 65
- - 1944 ,- 85
- - 1945 55
69. Harry S. Truman - - 1945 67
70. William Benton 1948 67
71. Willard L. Thorp 1948 68
72. George C. Marshall - - 1948 68
73. John Foster Dulles ----- -- 1948 - - 69
74. Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt ----- 1948 ------ 70
75. George V. Allen 1948 71
76. Benjamin V. Cohen 1949 71
77. Durward V. Sandlfer 1949 72
78. Adrian S. Fisher 1949 73
79. Philip C. Jessup 1949 74
80. Harry S. Truman ----------- 1949 ------ 75
C. Universal Declaration
81. Universal Declaration of Human
944377 O - 51 - 2
MAGNA CARTA, 1215
The provisions of the Great Charter to which King John of
England gave his asrent on June 15, 1215 were not original
grants of liberties. Practically all of them had their origin
in t he usages and customs of the Anglo-Saxons. The Magna Carta
did, however, give those liberties and rights legal status.
While many of the provisions of the Magna Carta pertain to
feudal rights and the relations of the king with the barons,
the document still stands as a milestone in the development
of such concepts as due process of law, trial by Jury, freedom
from unreasonable searches and seizures, and freedom of move-
John, by the Grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland,
Duke of Normandy and Acqultaine, and Earl of Anjou, to his Arch-
bishops, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Barons, Justiciaries, Foresters,
Sheriffs, Governors, Officers, and to all Bailiffs, and his faith-
ful subjects, — Greeting.
Know ye, that We, in the presence of God, and for the salva-
tion of our own soul, and of the souls of all our ancestors, and
of our heirs, to the honour of God, and the exaltation of the
Holy Church and amendment of our Kingdom, by the counsel of our
venerable fathers ... and others our liegemen; have in the first
place granted to God, and by this our present Charter have con-
firmed, for us and our heirs forever: —
1. That the English Church shall be free, and shall have her
whole rights and her liberties Inviolable; ...
We have also granted to all the freemen of our Kingdom, for
us and our heirs forever, all the underwritten Liberties, to be
enjoyed and held by them and by their heirs, from us and from our
12. No scutage nor aid 1 shall be imposed in our kingdom, un-
less by the common council of our kingdom; excepting to redeem
our person, to make our eldest son a knight, and once to marry
our eldest daughter, and not for these, unless a reasonable aid
shall be demanded. ...
14. And also to have the common council of the kingdom, we
will cause to be summoned the Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots,
"Scutage": a tax collected for military expenses. "Aid":
a tax paid by a vassal to his lord, in feudal practice.
Earls, and great Barons, Individually by our letters. And be-
sides, we will cause to be summoned in general by our Sheriffs
and Bailiff 8, all those who hold of us in chief,! at a certain
day, that is to say at the distance of forty dsys (before their
meeting), at the least, and to a certain place; and in all the
letters of summons, we will express the cause of the summons;
and the summons being thus made, the business shall proceed on the
day appointed, according to the counsel of those who shall be
present, although all who have been summoned have not come.
15. We will not give leave to any one, for the future, to
take an aid of his own free men, except for redeeming his own
body, and for making his eldest son a knight, and for marrying
once his eldest daughter; and not that unless it be a reasonable
17. Common Pleas shall not follow our Court, but shall be
held In any certain place. ...
38. No Bailiff, for the future, shall put any man to his
law, upon his own simple affirmation, without credible witnesses
produced for that purpose.
39. No free-man shall be seized, or imprisoned, or dis-
possessed, or outlawed, or in any way destroyed; nor will we
condemn him, nor will we commit him to prison, excepting by the
legal Judgment of his peers, or by the laws of the land.
40. To none will we sell, to none will we deny, to none
will we delay right or Justice.
41. All Merchants shall have safety and security in coming
Into England, and going out of England, and in staying and in
traveling through England, as well by land as by water to buy
and sell, vrithout any unjust exactions, according to ancient
and right customs, excepting In the time of war, and If they be
of a country at war against us: and if such are found in our land
at the beginning of a war, they shall be apprehended without in-
Jury to their bodies and goods, until it be known to us, or to
our Chief Justiciary, how the Merchants of our country are treated
who are found in the country at war against us; and if ours be in
safety there, the others shall be in safety in our land.
42. It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to go
out of our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land
or by water, saving his allegiance to us, unless it be in time
of war, for some short space, for the common good of the kingdom:
"Hold of us In chief: hold a whole barony undivided.
excepting prisoners and outlaws, according to the laws of the
land, and of the people of the nation at var against us, and
Merchants who shall be treated as It Is said above. ...
60. Also all these customs and liberties aforesaid, which
we have granted to be held In our Kingdom, for so much of It as
belongs to us, all our subjects, as well clergy as laity, shall
observe towards their tenants as far as concerns them.
61. But since we have granted all these things aforesaid,
for God and for the amendment of our kingdom, and for the better
extinguishing the discord which has arisen between us and our
Barons, we being desirous that these things should possess en-
tire and unshaken stability forever, give and grant to them the
security underwritten, namely, that the Barons may elect twenty-
five Barons of the kingdom, whom they please, who shall with their
whole power, observe, keep, and cause to be observed, the peace
and liberties which we have granted to them, and have confirmed
by this, our present charter, in this manner; that is to say, if
we, or our Justiciary, or our bailiffs or any of our officers,
shall have injured any one in anything, or shall have violated
any article of the peace or security, and the injury shall have been
shown to four of the aforesaid twenty-five Barons, the said four
Barons shall come to us, or to our Justiciary If We be out of the
kingdom, and making known to u6 the excess committed, petition
that we cause that excess to be redressed without delay. And if
we shall not have redressed the excess, or, If we have been out
of the kingdom, our Justiciary shall not have redressed it with-
in the term of forty days, computing from the time when it shall
have beeo made known to us, or to our Justiciary, if we have b<=>en
out of the kingdom, the aforesaid four Barons shall lay that cause
before the residue of the twenty-five Barons; and they, the twenty-
five Barons, with the community of the whole land, shall distress
and harass us by all the ways in which they are able; that is to
say, by the taking of our castles, lands and possessions, and by
any other means in their power, until the excess shall have been
redressed, according to their verdict, saving harmless our person
and the persons of our Queen and children, and when it hath been
redressed they shall behave to us as they have done before. . ..
63. Wherefore our will is, and we firmly command that the
Church of England be free, and that the men in our kingdom have
and hold the aforesaid liberties, rights and concessions, well and
in peace, freely and quietly, fully and entirely, to them and
their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and places for
ever, as is aforesaid. It Is also sworn, both on our part and on
that of the Barons, that all the aforesaid shall be observed in
good faith and without any evil intention. ...
Given by our hand in the Meadow which is called Runningmead,
between Windsor and Staines, this 15th day of June, in the
17th year of our reign.
ENGLISH PETITION OF RIGHT, 1628
In 1628 the English people, through their representatives
in Parliament, stated their grievances in the form of a Petition
of Right, to which the king acceded.
To the king^ most excellent majesty: ... whereas it is
declared and enacted by a statute made in the time of the reign
of King Edward the First, ... that no tallage or aid* 1 should be
laid or levied by the king or his heirs in this realm without
the goodwill and assent of the archbishops, bishops, earls, barons,
knights, burgesses, and other the freemen of the commonality of
this realm; and by authority of the parliament ... ££n/ the reign
of King Edward III it is declared and enacted that from thence-
forth no person should be compelled to make any loans to the king
against his will, ... yet nevertheless ... your people have been
in divers places assembled and required to lend certain sums of
money to your majesty; ...
And whereas also, by the statute called the Great Charter
of the Liberties of England, it is declared and enacted that ho
freeman may be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised* of his free-
hold or liberties or his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled
or in any manner destroyed, but by the lawful Judgment of hie
peers or by the law of the land; and in . . . the reign of King
Edward III it was declared and enacted by authority of parliament
that no man, of what estate or condition that he be, should be
put out of his land or tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor
disherited, nor put to death, without being brought to answer by
due process of law: nevertheless, ... divers of your subjects
have of late been imprisoned without any cause showed; ...
but that they were detained by your majesty's special command, ...
without being charged with anything to which they might make
Translated from the Latin. Magna Charta; Granting of the
Mag na Charta, b_y_ KJjig jloJin, OH June 15, 1215 , Together with
Explanatory Notes to the Charter (Senate Document No. 232, 66th
Congress, 2d Session; 1920), pp. 5-24.
Varieties of taxes.
answer according to the law;
And whereas ... great companies of soldiers and mariners
have been dispersed into divers counties of the realm, and the
inhabitants against their wills have been compelled to receive
them into their houses, ... and whereas also ... it is declared
and enacted that no man should be forejudged of life or limb
against the form of the Great Charter and the law of the land; . . .
nevertheless of late divers commissions ... have issued forth,
by which certain persons have been assigned and appointed
commissioners, with power and authority to proceed within the
land according to the Justice of martial law ... by pretext
whereof some of your majesty* s subjects have been by some of the
said commissioners put to death ... upon pretence that the said
offenders were punishable only by martial law ... which commissions
are wholly and directly contrary to the said laws and statutes of
this your realm:
They ^your subjects/ do therefore humbly pray your most
excellent majesty that no man hereafter be compelled to make or
yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge
without common consent by act of parliament; and that none be
called to make answer, or take such oath, or give attendance, or
be confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning the
same, or for refusal thereof; and that no freeman ... be imprisoned
or detained; and that your majesty would be pleased to remove the
said soldiers and mariners; and that your people may not be
burdened in time to come; and that the aforesaid commissions for
proceeding by martial law may be revoked and annulled; and that
hereafter no commissions of like nature may issue forth ... and
that your majesty would also vouchsafe and declare that the awards,
doings, and proceedings to the prejudice of your people in any
of the premises shall not be drawn hereafter Into consequence or
example; and that your majesty would be also graciously pleased,
for the further comfort and safety of your people, to declare your
royal will and pleasure that in the things aforesaid all your
officers and ministers shall serve you according to the laws and
statutes of this realm, as they tender the honour of your majesty
and the prosperity of this kingdom.*
AGREEMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND, 1647
During the political debates leading up to the Second Civil
War in England, a group of independents* known as Levellers drew
Carl Stephenson and Frederick G. Marcham (editors), Sources
pX English Constitutions! H istory (New York: Harper and Brothers,
1937), pp. 450-452.
Ml O* - *
which they pre-
up a document called the Agreement of the People, which
sented to the Army Council on October 28, 1647. The Ag
was presented as a manifesto to the House of Commons In the name
of the Army on January 15-20, 1648,
... the power of this parliament/ and all future Represents-
tives of this Nation, is inferior only to theirs who choose them,
and doth extend ... generally, to whatsoever is not expressly or
Impliedly reserved by the represented to themselves:
Which are as followeth.
1. That matters of religion and the ways of God's wor-
ship are not at all entrusted by us to any human power,
because therein we cannot remit a tittle of what our
consciences dictate to be the mind of Gk>d without wilful
sin: nevertheless the public way of instructing the nation
(so it be not compulsive) is referred to their discretion.
2. That the matter of imprestlng and constraining
any of us to serve in the wars is against our freedom ...
3. That after the dissolution of this present Par-
liament, no person be at any time questioned for anything
said or done in reference to the late public differences,
otherwise than, in execution of the Judgments of the present
Representatives of House of Commons.
4. That in all laws made or to be made every person.
may be bound alike, and that no tenure, estate, charter,
degree, birth, or place do confer any exemption from the
ordinary course of legal proceedings whereunto others are
5. That as the laws ought to be equal, so they must be
good, and not evidently destructive to the safety and well-
being of the people.
These things we declare to be our native rights, and there-
fore are agreed and resolved to maintain them ... x
MARYLAND TOLERATION ACT, 1649
The Toleration Act which the Catholic colony of Maryland
Samuel R. Gardiner (editor), The Constitutional Documents of
the Puritan Revolution. 1625-1660 (Oxford: At the Clarenfcn PressT"
1899; 2d ed.), pp. 334-335.
adopted on April 21, 1649 was the first law on religious liberty
to emanate from a legally constituted legislature in America. This
4 act was designed to secure the Maryland colony from the charge of
'intolerance toward Protestantism.
Fforeasmuch as in a well governed and Christian Common Wealth
matters concerning Religion and the honour of God ought in the
first place to bee taken into serious consideration and endeavored
to be settled,
Be it therefore . . . enacted . . . that noe person or persons
whatsoever within this Province, or the Islands, Ports, Harbors,
Creekes, or havens thereunto belonging professing to believe in
Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth bee any wales troubled, Mo-
lested or discountenanced for or in respect of his or her religion
nor in the free exercise thereof ... nor any way compelled to the
beliefs or exercise of any other Religion against his or her con-
sent . . .
And that all & every person and persons that shall presume
contrary to this Act . . . willfully to wronge disturbe trouble or
molest any person whatsoever within this Province professing to
believe In Jesus Christ for or in respect of his or- her religion
or the free exercise thereof within this Province . . . shall be
compelled to pay trebble damages to the party soe wronged or mo-
lested, and for every such offence shall also forfeit 20 s sterling
In money or the value thereof . . . Or, if the parties soe offending
shall refuse or be unable to recompense the party soe wronged, or
to satisfy such ffyne or forfeiture, then such offender shall be
severely punished by public whipping & imprisonment during the
pleasure of the Lord proprietary, or his Lieutenant or chief e Gov-
ernor of this Province for the tyme being without balle or maine-
RHODE ISLAND COLONIAL CHARTER, 1663
The charter which the Rhode Island colonists obtained from
Charles II of England on July 8, 1663 formed the basis of their
government until the present constitution was adopted in 1842.
It provided for full religious liberty to all.
... whereas ... they /the colonists/ have freely declared ...
Henry 3. Commager, Documents of American History (New York:
Appleton-Century-Crafts, 1948; 4th ed\ , 2 vols.), vol. I, pp. 31-32,
that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be main-
tained ... with a full liberty in religious concernments; and
that true piety rightly grounded upon gospel principles, will
give the best and greatest security to sovereignty, and will
lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to true
Now know ye, that we, being willing to ... secure them in
the tree exercise and enjoyment of all their civil and re-
ligious rights ... and to preserve unto them that liberty, in
the true Christian faith and worship of God, which they have
sought ... to enjoy; ... do hereby publish, grant, ordsin and
declare . .. that no person within the said oolony, at any time
hereafter shall be any wise molested, punished, disquieted, or
called in question, for any differences in opinion in matters
of religion ... but that all and every person and persons may,
from time to time, and at all times hereafter, freely and fully
have and enjoy his and their own Judgments and consciences, in
matters of religious concernments ... *
HABEAS CORPUS ACT OF THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, 1679
The Magna Carta and subsequent documents gave the English
people written guarantees of liberty. These guarantees, how-
ever, were not entirely efficacious because there was no stringent
prooedure for ensuring their application. The Habeas Corpus Act
of 1679 remedied that weakness in part by supplying a precise
mechanism whereby a person committed to imprisonment would be
assured of a speedy trial by a lawful court according to the
law of the land.
... be it enacted ... that, whenever any person ... shall
bring any habeas corpus ... unto any sheriff ..., Jailer, minister,
or other person ... the said officer ... shall within three days 2 ..,
bring or cause to be brought the body of the party ... committed
or restrained ... before the lord chancellor or lord keeper of
the great seal of England ... or the Judges or the barons ...
or before such other person before whom the said writ is made
returnable ... and shall ... then certify the true causes of
his detainer or imprisonment ...
Rhode Island, Manual, with Rules and Orders, for the Use of
the General Assembly (Providence: 1868-y7 - 1945-19467p. "84.
If the place of commitment was more than 80 but not over
100 miles from the court, 10 days were allowed; for a distance
above 100 miles, 20 days.
And If any person or persona committed as aforesaid ...
shall not be indicted some time in the next term sessions ...
the Judges ... are hereby required upon motion ... in open
court the last day of the term sessions ... to set at liberty
the prisoner upon bail ....And if any person or persons com-
mitted as aforesaid . . . shall not be Indicted and tried the
second term sessions . . . after his commitment ... he shall be
discharged from his imprisonment . . .1
ENGLISH BILL OF RIGHTS, 1689
In December 1688 King James II of England abdicated. The
convention which called William and Mary to the throne drew up
a document imposing certain limitations upon the new sovereigns.
This document was approved by both Houses of Parliament, accepted
by William and Mary, and formally enacted. Originally a revo-
lutionary instrument, drawn up by an Irregular convention, it
thus acquired the binding force of law and became one of the fun-
damental charters of political liberties for English-speaking
Whereas the late King James II . . . did endeavor to sub-
vert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and
liberties of this kingdom . . . and whereas the said late King
James II having abdicated the government, and the throne being
vacant, his highness the prince of Orange ... did, by the advice*
of the lords spiritual and temporal and divers principal persons
of the commons, cause letters to be written ... for the choosing
of such persons ... as were of right to be sent to parliament to
meet and sit at Westminister ... in order to /provlde7 such an
establishment as that their religion, laws, and liberties might
not again be in danger of being subverted, ...
The said lords spiritual and temporal and commons, ...
being now assembled ... do in the first place (as their ances-
tors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and
asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare that the
pretended power of suspending of laws or the execution of laws
by regsl authority ... is illegal;
that the commission for erecting the late court of commission-
ers for ecclesiastical causes and all other commissions and courts
of like nature are illegal and pernicious;
Stephenson and Marcham, p. 558.
that levying money for or to the use of the crown . . . with-
out grant of parliament ... Is Illegal;
that It Is the right of the subjects to petition the king,
and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are
that the raising or keeping a standing army within the king-
dom In time of peace, unless It be with consent of parliament, is
that the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their
defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
that election of members of parliament ought to be free;
that the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in
parliament ought not to be Impeached or questioned in any court
or place out of parliament;
that excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive
fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;
that Jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and
Jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be
that all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of par-
ticular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
and that, for redress of all grievances and for the amending,
strengthening, and preserving of the laws, parliament ought to
be held frequently.
And they do claim, demand, ana insist upon all and singular
the premises as their undoubted rights and liberties, and that
no declaration, Judgments, doings, or proceedings to the preju-
dice of the people in any of the said premises ought in any wise
to be drawn hereafter in consequence or example. ..A
PENNSYLVANIA CHARTER OP PRIVILEGES, 1701
The Charter of Privileges which William Penn granted to the
inhabitants of Pennsylvania in 1701 was one of the great colonial
Stephenson and Marcham, pp. 559-602.
acts granting religious freedom and the right to participate in
William Perm, Proprietary and Governor of the Province of
Pensllvania and Territories thereunto belonging,
To all to whom these Presents shall come, sendeth Greeting.
Whereas King Charles the Second, by His Letters Patents, un-
der the Great Seal of England, bearing Date the Fourth Day of
March, in the Year One Thousand Six Hundred and Eighty-one, was
graciously pleased to give and grant unto me, and my Heirs and
Assigns for ever, this Province of Pensllvania, with divers great
Powers and Jurisdictions for the well Government thereof ...
Know ye therefore, that for the ... Well-being and good Gov-
ernment of the said Province , and Territories, and in Pursuance
of the Rights and Powers before-mentioned, I the said William
Penn do declare, grant and confirm, unto all the Freemen, Plant-
ers and Adventurers, and other Inhabitants of this Province and
Territories, these following Liberties, Franchises and Privileges,
so far as in me lieth, to be held, enjoyed and kept .. for ever.
First. because no People can be truly happy, though under
the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the
Freedom of their J3p^ngc.iences, as to their Religious Profession
and Worship: *'*Aritl f Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience,
Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as Object
of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlight-
en the Minds, and persuade and convince the .Understanding of
People, I do hereby grant aid declare, That no Person or Persons,
inhabiting in this Province or Territories, who shall confess and
acknowledge One almighty God, the Creator, Upholder and Ruler of
the World; and profess him or themselves obliged to live quietly
under the Civil Government, shall be in any Case molested or pre-
judiced, in his or their Person or Estate, because of his or their
conscientious Persuasion or Practice, nor be compelled to fre-
quent or maintain any religious Worship, Place or Ministry, con-
trary to his or their Mind, or to do or suffer any other Act or
Thing, contrary to their religious Persuasion. ...
II For the well governing of this Province and Territories,
there shall be an Assembly yearly chosen, by the Freemen thereof, .
V ... all Criminals shall have the «ame Privileges of Witnesses
and Council as their Prosecution.
VI ... no Person or Persons shall or may, at any Time here-
after, be obliged to answer any Comrlalnt, Matter or Thing what-
soever, relating to Property, before the Governor and Council, or
in any other Place, but in ordinary Course of Justice, unless
Appeals thereunto shall be hereafter by Law appointed. ...
VIII ... because the Happines3 of Mankind depends so
much upon the Enjoying of Liberty of their Consciences as
aforesaid, I do hereby solemnly declare, promise and grant,
for me, my Heirs, and Assigns, That the First Article of this
Charter relating to Liberty of Conscience, and every Part and
Clause therein, according to the true Intent and Meaning there-
of, shall be kept and remain, without any Alteration, inviolably
for ever. 1
LETTER FROM THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS
TO THE PEOPLE OF. QUEBEC, 1774
On October 26, 1774, the Continental Congress approved the
text of a letter to the people of the Province of Quebec, which
declared that the English colonists enjoyed and should enjoy
five specific human rights: representative government, trial by
Jury, liberty of person, easy tenure of land, and freedom of the
... the first grand right, is that of the people having a
share in their own government by their representatives chosen by
themselves, and, In consequence of being ruled by laws, which
they themselves approve ...
The next great right is that of trial by Jury. This pro-
vides that neither life, liberty nor property, can be taken from
the possessor, until twelve of his unexceptionable countrymen and
peers of his vicinage ... shall pass their sentence upon oath
against him ...
Another right relates merely to the liberty of the person. If
a subject Is seized and imprisoned, though by ordfer of the govern-
ment, he may by virtue of this right, immediately obtain a writ,
termed a Habeas Corpus, from a Judge ... and thereupon procure
any illegal restraint to be quickly inquired into and redressed.
A fourth right is that of holding lands by the tenure of
easy rents, and not by rigorous and oppressive services ...
The last right ... regards the freedom of the press. The im-
portance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth,
science, morality, and arts in general, In its diffusion of liberal
Coramager, vol. I, pp. 40-41.
sentlments on the administration of government, ... whereby-
oppressive officers are shamed or Intimidated Into more honour-
able and just modes of conducting affairs. ...
These are the rights, without which a people cannot be free
and happy ...1
DECLARATION AND RESOLVES
OF THE FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, 1774
The English colonies of North America laid claim in this
declaration to all the human rights which their ancestors in
England had enjoyed. For this reason the declaration has been
called the "Magna Carta of civil liberty In America".
... The good people of the several Colonies of New-hamp-
shlre, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode-island and Providence planta-
tions, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, New-
castle, Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North
Carolina, and South Carolina ... have severally elected, con-
stituted, and appointed deputies to meet and sit in general
congress, in the city of Philadelphia ... /who/ do, in the first
place, ... declare,
That the inhabitants of the English Colonies in North
America, by the immutable laws of nature, the principles of the
English constitution, and the several charters or compacts, have
the following Rights:
Resolved, N.C.D. 2
1. That they are entitled to life, liberty, and prop-
erty, and they have never ceded to any sovereign power what-
ever, a right to dispose of either without their consent.
2. That our ancestors, who first settled these colonies,
were at the time of their emigration from the mother country,
U.S. Continental Congress, Journals of the Continental
Congress 1774-1789 ( Washington: Government Printing Office,
1904-1931; 34 vols.; known as the "Library of Congress edition"),
vol. I, pp. 107-108.
N.C.D. : abbreviation of a Latin expression meaning
entitled to all the rights, liberties, and Immunities of free and
natural-born subjects, within the realm of England.
3. That by such emigration they by no means forfeited,
surrendered, or lost any of those rights, but that they were, and
their descendants now are, entitled to the exercise and enjoy-
ment of all such of them, as their local and other circumstances
enable them to exercise and enjoy.
4. That the foundation of English liberty, and of all free
government, Is a right in the people to participate In their
legislative council ...
5. That the respective colonies are entitled to the common
law of England, and more especially to the great and Inestimable
privilege of being tried by their peers of the vicinage, according
to the course of that law.
6. That they are entituled to the benefit of such of the
English statutes as existed at the time of their colonization; and
which they have, by experience, respectively found to be applicable
to their several local and other circumstances.
7. That these, his majesty^ colonies, are likewise entitled
to all the immunities and privileges granted and confirmed to
them by royal charters, or secured by their several codes of pro-
8. That they have a right peaceably to assemble, consider
of their grievances, and petition the King; and that all- pro-
secutions, prohibitory proclamations, end commitments for the
same, are illegal.
9. That the keeping a Standing army In these colonies, in
times of peace, without the consent of the legislature of that
colony, In which such army is kept, is against law.
10. It is indispensably necessary to good government, and
rendered essential by the English constitution, that the con-
stituent branches of the legislature be Independent of each other; ,
All and each of which the aforesaid deputies, in behalf of
themselves and their constituents, do claim, demand, and Insist
on, as their indubitable rights and liberties; which cannot be
legally taken from them, altered or abridged by any power what-
ever, without their own consent, by their representatives in
their several provincial legislatures. . ..^
Journals of the Continental Congress , vol. I, pp. 66-71.
VIRGINIA DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, 1776
Virginia was the first of the original 13 English colonies
to adopt a Declaration of Rights In anticipation of becoming a
State. The Virginia statement, adopted June 12, 1776, preceded
/ the Declaration of Independence by three weeks. Its 16 articles
' gave eloquent expression to the human rights which Virginia and
other States were to incorporate In their constitutions.
Section 1. That all men are by nature eaually free and
independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when
they enter into a state of society, they cannot by any compact,
^deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life
/and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property,
and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Section 2. That all power Is vested in, and consequently
derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees
and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
Section 3. That Government Is, or ought to be, instituted
for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people,
nation, or community ...
Section 6. That elections of members to serve as representa-
tives of the people, in assembly, ought to be free and that all
men . . . have the right of suffrage . . .
Section 8. That in all capital or criminal prosecutions a
man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation,
to be confronted with his accusers and witnesses, to call for
evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial
Jury ... /and7 that no man /should/ be deprived of his liberty,
except by the law of the land or the Judgment of his peers. ...
Section 11. That in controversies respecting property, and
in suits between man and man, the ancient trial by Jury Is pre-
ferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred.
Section 12. That the freedom of the press Is one of the
great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by
despotic governments. ...
Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our
Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only
by reason and conviction, not by force, or violence; and
944377 O - 51 - 4
therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of
religion, according to the dictates of conscience ... 1
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, 1776
The first national act on the part of the United States of
America was the Declaration of Independence, adopted July 4, 1776,
Its preamble set forth the fundamental human rights. The griev-
ances which it listed (not reproduced here) became the basis of
the civil liberties claimed by the American people in their Bill
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected
them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth,
the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness. That, to secure these rights, Governments
are instituted among Men, deriving their Just powers from the con-
sent of the governed, That, whenever any Form of Government be-
comes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to
^alter or to abolish It, and to Institute new Government^ laying Its
foundation on such principles and organizing its powers In such
form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and
-Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long
established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more
- disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right them-
selves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But,
when a long train of abuses and usurpations ... evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is
their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards
j for their future security.)' .. .2
Commager, vol. I, pp. 103-104.
Journals of the Continental Congress, vol. V, pp. 510-511.
ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, 177?
Having declared their indeDendence, the 13 former English
colonies approved on November 16, 1777 their first written In-
strument of government, the Articles of Confederation and Per-
petual Union, whereby they entered Into a "firm league of friend-
ship" with each other. Article IV referred to freedom of travel.
The Articles of Confederation were ratified and oame into force
on March 1, 1781.
The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and
Intercourse among the people of the different states in the union,
the free Inhabitants of each of these states ... shall be entitled
to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several
states; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and
regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all
the privileges of trade and commerce . .,1
VIRGINIA STATUTE OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, 1786
Almost all the new constitutions adopted by the former English
colonies after they became States Included a guarantee of religious
freedom as a human right. The Virginia statute of 1786 on this sub-
ject was written by Thomas Jefferson.
1. Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free ... all
attempts to Influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or
by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy
and meanness ... to compel a man to furnish contributions of money
for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and
tyrannical; ... our civil rights have no dependence on our religious
opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; ...
therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public con-
fidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices
of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that
religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges
and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a
natural right; ... to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude hla
Journals of the Continental Congress , vol. IX, p. 908.
povers Into the field of opinion, and to restrain the pro-
fession or propagation of principles on supposition of their
ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys
all religious liberty, because he b°ing of course Judg-e of that
tendency will make his opinions the rule of Judgment, and ap-
prove or condemn the sentimen'ts of others only as they shall
square with or differ from his own; ... and finally, ... truth is
great and will prevail if left to herself, ... she is the proper
and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fe^r from
the conflict, unless by interposition disarmed of her natural
weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be danger-
ous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.l
NORTHWEST ORDINANCE, 1787
The first national formulation by the United States of
specific human rights was contained in this Instrument pro-
viding government for the people of the Northwest Territory.
Historians have emphasized the broad assurance of the enjoy-
ment of human rights extended by this law.
... It is hereby Ordained and declared by the authority
aforesaid /the Congress of the United States/, That the following
Articles shall be considered as Articles of compact between the
Original States and the People and States In the said territory,
and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit .
/Article \J No person demeaning himself in a peaceable
and orderly manner shall ever be molested on account of his
mode of worship or religious sentiments In the said territory — .
/Article 27 The Inhabitants of the said territory shall
always be entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus,
and of the trial by Jury; of a proportionate representation of
the people in the legislature, and of Judicial proceedings
according to the course of the common law; all Persons shall be
bailable unless for capital offences, where the proof shall be
evident, or the presumption great; all fines shall be moderate,
and no cruel or unusual punishments shall be inflicted; no man
shall be deprived of his liberty or property but by the Judg-
ment of his Peers, or the law of the land; and should the pub-
lic exigencies make it necessary for the common preservation to
take any persons property, or to demand his particular services,
full compensation shall be made for the same; — and in the Just
preservation of rights and property it is understood and declared,
that no law ought ever to be made, or
Commager, vol. I, pp. 125-126.
have force in the said territory, that ehall in any manner
whatever interfere with, or affect private contracts or engage-
ments, bona fide and without fraud previously formed.
/Art.icle 37 Religion, Morality and knowledge being necess-
ary to good government and the happiness of mankind, Schools and
the means of education shall forever be encouraged . . .
/Article 47 The said territory, and the States which may be
formed therein, shall forever remain a part of this Confederacy
of the United States of America, subject to the Articles of Con-
federation, and to such alterations therein as shall be constitu-
tionally made; and to. all the Acts and Ordinances of the United
States in Congress Assembled, conformable thereto. The Inhabit-
ants and Settlers in the said territory, shall be subject to pay
a part of the federal debts contracted or to be contracted, and
a proportional part of the expences of Government, to be appor-
tioned on them by Congress, according to the same common rule and
measure by which apportionments thereof shall be made on the other
States; ... The navigable Waters leading into the Misslsippi and
St Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same shall be
common highways, and forever free, as well to the Inhabitants of
the said territory, as to the Citizens of the United States, and
those of any other States that may be admitted into the Confed-
eracy, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor —
/Article bj There shall be formed in the said territory,
not less than three nor more than five States; ...
/Article 67 There shall be neither Slavery nor Involuntary
Servitude in the said territory otherwise than in the punishment
of crimes, whereof the Party shall have been duly convicted: Pro-
vided always that any person escaping into the same, from whom
labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original
States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to
the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid — ..J
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
AND AMENDMENTS, 1787-1920
A few guarantees of human rights were incorporated in the
original articles of the Constitution of the United States, which
Clarence E. Carter (editor) , The Territorial Papers of the
United States (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1934-T"
vol. II, pp. 46-49.
were drafted by the Federal Convention of 1787 end came into
force on June 21, 1788. The American people, however, having
won their freedom at a high price, wished to make sure that the
human rights which they had fought to secure would be preserved.
Accordingly they adopted a set of amendments to the Constitution
(the first ten), providing that certain fundamental rights could
not be abridged by the Federal Government. These amendments
came into force on December 15, 1791. Subsequent amendments
added new guarantees. Of the 21 amendments to the Constitution,
14 directly concern human rights.
/Article \f Section 9.... The privilege of the Writ of Habeas
Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when In Cases of Rebellion
or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
3ectlon 10. No State shall ... pass any bill of attainder,
ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts,
or grant any title of nobility. ...
/Article IIl7 Section 2. ... The Trial of all Crimes, except
in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall
be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed;
but when not committed within any. State, the Trial shall be at
such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
/Article IV/ Section 2. The citizens of each State shall be
entltTed to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the sev-
eral States. ...
/Article Vjy ... no religious Test shall ever be required as
a QjuaTlficatlon to any Office or public Trust under the United
/Amendment if Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there-
of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, end to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment 27 A well regulated Militia, being necessary to
the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep
and bear Arms, shall not be Infringed.
/Amendment 2/ No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quar-
tered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor In time
of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
1» L „
The Constitution of the United States of America ; Literal
Print (Department of State publication 539; 1934), pp. 10-20.
^Amendment 4^ The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue,
but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons
or things to be seized.
/Amendment €J No person shall be held to answer for a capi-
tal, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indict,
irent of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval
forces, or In the Militia, when in actual service in time of War
or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same
offence to be twice put in Jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be
compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,
nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process
of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, with-
out Just compensation.
/Amendment §J In all criminal prosecutions, the accused
shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impar-
tial Jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have
been committed, which district shall have been previously ascer-
tained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to
have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and
to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
/Amendment lj In suits at common law, where the value in
controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by
Jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a Jury shall be
otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than
according to the rules of the common law.
/Amendment &/ Excessive bail shall not be .required, nor
excessive fines Imposed, nor cruel and unusual, punishments in-
/Amendment 9/ The enumeration in the Constitution, of cer-
tain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others
retained by the people.
/Amendment lo7 The powers not delegated to the United States
by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are re-
served to the States respectively, or to the people. . . . *
/Amendment \zf Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary
servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party
shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United
States, or any place subject to their Jurisdiction. . . .2
Ibid., pp. 25-27.
Came into force Dec. 18, 1865; ibid ., pp. 32-33.
/Amendment 14/ Section 1. ... No State shall make or en-
force any law which ahall abridge the privileges or immunities
of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive
any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process
of law, nor deny to any person within its Jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws. . . . 1
/Amendment 15/ Section 1. The right of citizens of the
Unitea* States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any State on account of race, color, or
previous condition of servitude. . . . 2
/Amendment 197 Section 1. The right of citizens of the
Unitea States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the
United Statsa or by any State on account of sex. 3
FRENCH DECLARATION OP THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND
OF THE CITIZEN, 1789
The National Assembly of France adopted this Declaration
during Che revolution in 1789. It was elaborated later and
prefixed to the first republican constitution of France, which
was adopted and proclaimed on June 24, 1793. The Declaration
represented the culmination of many years of thought about'
human rights and served as an inspiration for other nations,
Including the United States, as they established and developed
democratic governments. The French Constitution in force at
the present time reaffirms the rights consecrated by this Declara-
The representatives of the people of France, formed into
* National Assembly, considering that ignorance, neglect, or
contempt of human rights, are the sole causes of public mis-
fortunes and corruptions of Government, have resolved to set
forth in a solemn declaration, these natural, imprescriptible,
and inalienable rights; that this declaration being constantly
present to the minds of the members of the body social, they may
be ever kept attentive to their rights and their duties; that
the acts of the legislative and executive powers of Government,
Came into force in July 1868; ibid . . p. 34.
Came into force Mar. 30, 1870; JJbid. , p. 37.
Came into force Aug. 26, 1920; ibid., p. 45.
bting capable of being every moment compared with the end of
political institutions, may be more respected; and also, that the
future claims of the citizens, being directed by simple and in-
contestable principles, may always tend to the maintenance of the
Constitution, and the general happiness.
For these reasons the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY doth recognize and
declare, in the presence of the Supreme Being, and with the hope
of his blessing and favor, the following sacred rights of men
and of citizens:
I. Hen are born, and always continue , free and equal in
respect of their rights . Civil distinctions , therefore , can be
founded only on public utility .
II. The end of all political associations is the preser-
vation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man : and
these rights are liberty P property , security P and resistance of
III. The Nation is. essentially the source of all sovereign-
tjj nor can any INDIVIDUAL, or. ANY BODY OF MEN be entitled to
any authority which is not expressly derived from it .
IV. Political Liberty consists in the power of doing what-
ever does not injure another. The exercise of the natural rights
of every man has no other limits than those which are necessary
to secure to every other man the free exercise of the same rights;
and these limits are determinable only by the law.
V. The law ought to prohibit only actions hurtful to society,
What is not prohibited by the law should not be hindered; nor
should anyone be compelled to that which the law does not re-
VI. The law is an expression of the will of the community.
All citizens have a right to concur, either personally or by
their representatives, in its formation. It should be the same
to all, whether it protects or punishes; and all, being equal in
its sight, are equally eligible to all honors, places, and em-
ployments, according to their different abilities, without any
other distinction than that created by their virtues and talents*
VII. No man should be accused, arrested, or held in con-
finement, except in cases determined by the law, and according
to the forms which it has prescribed. All who promote, solicit,
execute, or cause to be executed, arbitrary orders, ought to be
punished, and every citizen called upon, or apprehended by vir-
tue -of the law, ought immediately to obey, and renders himself
culpable by resistance.
VIII. The law ought to impose no other penalties but
such as are absolutely and evidently necessary; and no one ought
to be punished, but in virtue of a law promulgated before the
offense, and legally applied.
IX. Every man being presumed innocent till he has been
convicted, whenever his detention becomes indispensable,
ftll rigor to him, more than Is necessary to secure his person,
ought to be provided against by the law.
X. No man ought to be molested on account of his religious
opinions, provided his avowal of them does not disturb the pub-
lic order established by the law.
XI. The unrestrained communication of thoughts and opinions
being one of the most precious Rights of Man, every citizen may
speak, write, and publish freely, provided he is responsible for
the abuse of this liberty, IB cases determined by law.
XII. A public force being necessary to give security to
the Rights of Men and of citizens, that force is instituted for
the benefit of the community and not for the particular benefit
of the persons with whom It is intrusted.
XIII. A common contribution being necessary for the support
of the public force, and for defraying the other expenses of Gov-
ernment, it ought to be divided equally among the members of the
community, according to their abilities.
XIV. Every citizen has a right, either by himself -or his
representative, to a free voice In determining the necessity of
public contributions, the appropriation of them, and their amount,
mode of assessment, and duration.
XV. Every community has a right to demand of all, its agents
an account of their conduct.
XVI. Every community in which a separation of powers and
a security of rights is not provided for, wants a Constitution.
XVII. The right to property being Inviolable and sacred,
no one ought to be deprived of It, except In cases of evident
public necessity, legally ascertained, and on condition of a
previous Just Indemnity. 1
VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY RESOLUTIONS, 1798
These resolutions represent an early democratic protest on
the part of the people of America against what they considered a
English translation Incorporated in Thomas Paine' s %he Right e
of Man . See Moncure Daniel Conway (editor), The Writings of Thomas
Paine (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1894; 2 vols. ) , vol. 2, pp. 351-
dengerous usurption of power by the Government of the United States
in passing the so-called "Sedition Law" of 1798 abridging freedom
of speech and the press. Not only was the law condemned by the
people, but it was denounced by Jefferson when he became President
in 1801, and the Congress did not renew it.
Text of the Virginia Resolution
... this state, having, by its Convention which ratified the
Federal Constitution, expressly declared that, among other essential
rights, "the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be
cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of
the United States" and from its supreme anxiety to guard these
rights from every possible attack having, with other states, re-
commended an amendment for that purpose, ... it would mark a re-
proachful inconsistency and criminal degeneracy, if an indifference
were now shown to the palpable violation of one of the rights thus
declared and secured, and to the establishment of a precedent which
may be fatal to the other. ...1
Text of the Kentucky Resolution
... it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in
the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our
righto ... Our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to
which and no further our confidence may go • ..*
TREATY CEDING LOUISIANA, 1803
On April 30, 1803 the United States concluded a treaty with
France for the purchase of the "province of Louisiana". Article
III of this treaty protected the inhabitants of the ceded terri-
tory in the enjoyment of their human rights pending their attainment
Commager, p. 182.
Ibid., p. 181.
of United States citizenship. Subsequent treaties by which the
United States aoquired territory contained similar provisions. 1
The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated
In the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible
according to the principles of the federal Constitution to the
enjoyment of all the rights, advantages and immunities of citizens
of the United States, and in the mean time they shall be main-
tained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, prop-
erty and the Religion which they profess." *
TEXA8 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS, 1836
On March 1, 1836 the delegates of the people of Texas assembled
in convention for the purpose of proclaiming their Independence
from Mexico and setting up a form of civil government for the
Republic of Texas. On March 17, 1836 they unanimously adopted a
Constitution which Included a declaration of the rights reserved
to the people. This Constitution formed the basis of government
until Texas was admitted as a State in 1845, at which time a new
Constitution was adopted.
lit. All men, when they form a social compact, have equal
See, for example, (1) articles V and VI of the Florida
Treaty of Feb. 22, 1819, with Spain, printed in Hunter Miller
(editor) , Treaties and Other International Acts of the United
States of America (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1931- ),
vol. 3, p. 8; (2) article IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
with Mexico, signed Feb. 2, 1848 (by which the United States
acquired California and other southwestern territory), printed ibid . f
vol. 5, p. 219; (3) article III of the convention of Mar. 30, 1867,
with Russia ceding Alaska to the United States, which is printed in
William M. Malloy (editor), Treaties , Conventions , International Acts ,
Protocols and Agreements Between the United States of America and
Other Powers. 1776-1909~~ ( Washington: Government Printing Office,
1910; 2 vols.), vol. 2, p. 1523; and (4) articles X and XI of the
Treaty of Peace with Spsln, signed Dec. 10, 1898 (by which the
United States aoquired the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam),
printed ibid. , pp. 1693-1694.
Millar, vol. 2, p. 501.
rights; and no men or set of men are entitled to exclusive public
privileges or emoluments from the community.
2d. All political power is inherent In the people, and all
free governments are founded on their authority and instituted
for their benefit; and they have at all times an inalienable
right to alter their government in such manner as they may think
3d. No preference shall be given by law to any religious de-
nomination or mode of worship over another, but every person shall
be permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his own
4th. Every citizen shall be at liberty to speak, write, or
publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the
abuse of that privilege. No law shall ever be passed to curtail
the liberty of speech or of the press; and in all prosecutions for
libels the truth may be given in evidence, and the Jury shall have
the right to determine the law and fact, under the direction of
5th. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses,
papers and possessions, from all unreasonable searches and sei-
zure s • . .
6th. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the
right of being heard, by himself or counsel, or both; he shell
have the right to demand the nature and cause of the accusation;
shall be confronted with the witnesses against him, and have com-
pulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor. And in all
prosecutions by presentment or indictment, he shall have the
right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial Jury; he shall
not be compelled to give evidence against himself, or be deprived
of life, liberty, or property, but by due process of law. ...
7th. No citizen shall be deprived of privileges, outlawed,
exiled, or in any manner disfranchised, except by due course of
the law of the land, ...
9th. No person, for the same offence, shall be twice put in
Jeopardy of life or limbs. And the right to trial by Jury shall
10th. All persons ehall be bailable by sufficient security,
unless for capital crimes, when the proof is evident or the pre-
sumption strong; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
shall not be suspended, except in cases of rebellion or invasion
the public safety may require it.
11th. Excessive ball shall not be required, nor excessive
fines imposed, or cruel or unusual punishments inflicted. All
courts shall be open, and every man for any injury done him in
his lands, goods, person, or reputation shall have remedy by due
course of law.
12th. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in consequence
of inability to pay.
13th. No person's particular services shall be demanded, nor
property taken or applied to public use, unless by the consent of
himself or his representative, without Ju9t compensation being made
therefor according to law. •••
15th, • •• No Retrospective or ex post facto law, or laws im-
pairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made. . ..*
EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION, 1863
Although Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton,
and many other early leaders of public opinion considered slavery
an evil, inconsistent with the principles of the Declaration of
Independence, slavery became firmly established In the United States
in the early colonial days and was reoognlzed by the Constitution.
Congress barred slave tradings in 1808, that year having been speci-
fied in the Constitution itself as the first year In which the ac-
tion could be taken. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln
issued a proclamation emancipating the slaves.
... Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States ... do order and declare that all persons held as
slaves within said designated states and parts of states are, and
henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of
the United States, including the military and naval authorities
thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to
abstain from all violence, unless In necessary defence; and I re-
commend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faith-
fully for reasonable wages.
And I further declare and make known that such persons, of
suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the
United States to garrison forts, position, stations, and other
places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.
Francis N. Thorpe (editor), The Federal and State Constitu -
tions ,. Colonial Charter s,, and Other Organic Laws p_f. the States ,
Territories , and Colonies ... (Washington: Government Printing
Office, 1909; 7 vols.), vol. VI, pp. 3542-3543.
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of Justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke
the considerate Judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Al-
mighty God. 1
WYOMING CONSTITUTION, 1889
Wyoming was the first State to extend the suffrage to women.
Article No. VI
Section 1. The rights of the citizens of the State of Wyo-
ming to vote and hold office shall not be denied or abridged on
account of sex. Both male and female citizens of this State shall
equally enjoy all civil, political and religious rights and privi-
PUERTO RICAN BILL OF RIGHTS, 1917
The act of Congress approved on March 2, 1917 established a
civil government for Puerto Rico. This organic act included a
Bill of Rights.
... Sec. 2. That no law shall be enacted In Porto Rico which
shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without
due process of law, or deny to any person therein the equal pro-
tection of the laws.
That in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the
right to have the assistance of counsel for his defense, to be in-
formed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to have a copy
thereof, to have a speedy and public trial, to be confronted with
X 12 Stat. 1268.
Thorpe, vol. VII, p. 4132.
the witnesses against him, and to have compulsory process for
obtaining witnesses in his favor.
That no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense
without due process of law; and no person for the same offense
shall be twice put into Jeopardy of punishment, nor shall be com-
pelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
That all persons shall before conviction be bailable by
sufficient sureties except for capital offenses when the proof is
evident or the presumption great.
That no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be
That no person shall be imprisoned for debt.
That the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be
suspended, unless when in case of rebellion, insurrection, or in-
vasion the public safety may require it, in either of which events
the same may be suspended by the President, or by the governor,
whenever during such period the necessity for such suspension
That no ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be en-
Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public
use except upon payment of Just compensation ascertained in the
manner provided by law.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the power
of the legislature to enact laws for the protection of the lives,
health, or safety of employees.
That no law granting a title of nobility shall be enacted. ...
That excessive bail shall not be required. ...
That the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and
seizures shall not be violated.
That no warrant for arrest or search shall be issued but
upon probable cause ...
That slavery shall not exist in Porto Rico.
That Involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime,
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall not exist
in Porto Rico.
That no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech
or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble
and petition the government for redress of grievances.
That no law shall be made respecting an establishment of re-
ligion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, and that the free
exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship without
discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed, and that
no political or religious test other than an oath to support the
Constitution of the United States and the laws of Porto Rico shall
be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under
the government of Porto Rico, . ..!
ATLANTIC CHARTER, 1941
Shortly after Nazi forces had overrun most of Europe, Presi-
dent Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill met on the U.S.S.
Augusta and the H.M. S. Prince of Wales in the North Atlantic for
the purpose of considering threats to their two countries. They
Issued a Joint statement on August 14, 1941 which became known
as the Atlantic Charter. This Charter, among other things, gave
oppressed peoples throughout the world renewed hope of liberty.
The President of the United States of America and the Prime
Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing His Majesty^ Government in
the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known
certain common principles in the national policies of their re-
spective countries on which they base their hopes for a better
future for the world.
First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial
Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do
not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples con-
Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose
the form of government under which they will live; and they wish
to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those
who have been forcibly deprived or them;
Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their
existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all States,
great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal t erms,
to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are
needed for their economic prosperity;
Fifth, they desire to bring a tout the fullest collaboration
between all nations in the economic field with the object of
securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advance-
ment and social security;
Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they
hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations
1 39 Stat. 951-952,
944377 O - 51 - 6
the means of dwelling In safety within their own boundaries, and
which will efford assurance that all the men in all the lands may
live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;
Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the
high seas and oceans without hindrances;
Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for
realistic as well as spiritual reasons must come to the abandon-
ment of the use of force. ...1
FOUR - POWER AGREEMENT ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, 1945
The agreement of August 8, 1945 signed at London by the
United States, France, the Soviet Union, and the United King-
dom contained as an annex the Charter of the International Mili-
tary Tribunal. The Charter provided that the Tribunal established
by the agreement should prosecute and punish individuals found
guilty of committing crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes
against humanity. This act stands as a precedent in the inter-
national recognition of human rights. Its definitions of war
crimes and crimes against humanity embody many of the concepts
underlying human rights.
Article 6. ... The following acts, or any of them are crimes
coming within the Jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there
shall be individual responsibility: ...
(b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs
of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited
to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or
for any other purpose of civilian population of or in
occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of
war or of persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder
of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities,
towns or villages, or devastation not Justified by military
(c) Crimes against humanity: namely, murder, extermination,
enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed
•gainst any civilian population, before or during war, or
persecution on political, raoial, or religious grounds in
execution of or in connection with any crime within the Juris-
diction of the tribunal, whether or not in violation of the
domestic law of the country where perpetrated."
55 Stat. 1603.
59 Stat. 1544.
PEACE TREATIES WITH BULGARIA, HUNGARY, ITALY, AND RUMANIA, 1947
The United States and the other Allied and Associated Powers
are parties to the treaties of peace with Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy,
and Rumania signed on February lo, 1947, which contain guarantees
of human right 8 and fundamental freedoms for the peoples of the
latter countries. These treaties entered into force September 15,
1947. Articles 2 and 3 of the treaty with Hungary are reproduced
below. The other treaties contain identical provisions except as
indicated in the footnotes.
1. Hungary shall take all measures necessary to secure to all
persons under Hungarian Jurisdiction, without distinction as to
race, sex, language or religion, the enjoyment of human rights and
of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, of
press and publication, of religious worship, of political opinion
and of public meeting. 1
2. Hungary further undertakes that the lavs in force in Hungary
shall not, either in their content or in their application, dis-
criminate or entail any discrimination between persons of Hungarian
nationality on the ground of their race, sex, language or religion,
whether in reference to their persons, property, business, pro-
fessional or financial interests, status, political or civil rights
or any other matter. 2
Hungary, which in accordance with the Armistice Agreement
has taken measures to set free, irrespective of citizenship and
nationality, all persons held In confinement on account of their
activities in favour of, or because of their sympathies with, the
United Nations or because of their racial origin, and to repeal
discriminatory legislation and restrictions imposed thereunder,
shall complete these measures and shall in future not take any
This paragraph appears also In the treaty of peace with
Finland, which was not signed by the United States, as we Were
not at war with Finland.
This paragraph appears only in the Hungarian and Rumanian
measures or enact any laws which would be incompatible with the
purposes set forth in this Article. 1
AMERICAN DECLARATION OF THE ESSENTIAL RIGHTS AND
DUTIES OF MAN, 1948
The American Republics have occupied a position of leader-
ship in the movement toward international recognition of the exis-
tence of basic human rights and of the international importance
of observing such rights. Meeting at Bogota, Colombia, March 30-
May 2, 1948, the 21 Republics adopted an American Declaration of
the Essential Rights and Duties of Man.
Article 1. Every human being has the right of life, liberty
and the security of his person.
Article II. All persons are equsl before the law and have
the rights and duties established in this Declaration, without
distinction as to race, sex, language,* creed or any other factor.
Article III. Every person has the right freely to profess
a religious faith, and to manifest and practice it both in public
and in private.
Article IV. Every person has the right to freedom of in-
vestigation, of opinion, and of the expression and dissemination
of ideas, by any medium whatsoever.
' This paragraph does not appear in the Italian treaty.
Article 16 of the Italian treaty reads as follows: "Italy shall
not prosecute or molest Italian nationals, Including members
of the armed forces, solely on the ground that during the period
from June 10, 1940, to the coming Into force of the present
Treaty, they expressed sympathy with or took action In support
of the cause of the Allied and Associated Powers." Department
of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series 1648
( Treaty of Peace with Italy ), p. 134; 1649 ( Treaty of Peace with
Roumanla77 pp. 45-46; 1650 ( Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria ) , p. 41;
1651 ( Treaty of Peace with Hunga ry), pp. 48-49.
Artlcle V. Every person has the right to the protection of
the law against abusive attacks upon his honor, his reputation,
and his private and family life.
Article VI. Every person has the right to establish a family,
the basic element of society, and to receive protection therefor.
Article VH. All women, during pregnancy and the nursing
period, and all children have the right to special protection,
cart and aid.
Article VIII. Every person has the right to fix his resi-
dence within the territory of the state of which he is a national,
to move about freely within such territory, and not to leave ex-
cept by his own will.
Article IX. Every person has the right to the inviolability
of his home.
Article X. Every person has the right to the inviolability
and transmission of his correspondence.
Article XI. Every person has the right to the preservation
of hi 8 health through sanitary and social measures relating to
food, clothing, housing and medloal care, to the extent permitted
by public and community resources.
Article XII. Every person has the right to an education,
which should be based on the principles of liberty, morality and
Likewise every person has the right to an education that will
prepare him to attain a decent life, to raise his standard of living,
and to be a useful member of society.
The right to an education Includes the right to equality of
opportunity in 9Yery case, in accordance with natural talents,
merit and the desire to utilize the resources that the state or
the community is in a position to provide.
Every person has the right to receive, free, at least a prim-
Article XIII. Every person has the right to take part in the
cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts, and to par-
ticipate in the benefits that result from Intellectual progress,
especially scientific discoveries.
He likewise has the right to the protection of his moral and
material interests as regards his inventions or any literary,
scientific or artistic works of which he is the author.
Article XIV. Every person has the right to work, under pro-
per conditions, and to follow his vocation freely, in so far as
existing conditions Of employment permit.
Every person who works has the right to receive such re-
muneration as will. In proportion to his capacity and skill,
assure him a standard of living suitable for himself and for his
Article XV. Every person has the right to leisure time, to
wholesome recreation, and to the opportunity for advantageous use
of his free time to his spiritual, cultural and physical benefit.
Article XVI. Every peran has the right to social security which
will protect him from the consequences of unemployment^ old age,
and any disabilities arl3ing from causes beyond his control that
make it physically or mentally impossible for him to earn a living.
Article XVII. Every person has the right to be recognized
everywhere as a person having rights and obligations, and to en-
Joy the basic civil rights.
Article XVIII. Every person may resort to the courts to
e*nsure respect for hia legal rights. There should likewise bt
available to him a simple, brief procedure whereby the courts
will protect him from acts of authority that, to his prejudice,
violate any fundamental constitutional rights.
Article XJX. Every person has the right to the nationality
to which he is entitled by law and to change it, if he so wishes,,
for the nationality of any other country that is willing to grant
it to him.
Article XX. Every person having legal capacity is entitled
to participate in the government of his country, directly or
through his representatives, and to take part in popular election,
which shall be by secret ballot, and shall be honest, periodic
Article XXI. Every person has the right to assemble peaceably
with others in a formal public meeting or an informal gathering,
in connection with matters of common interest of any nature.
Article XXII. Every person has the right to associate with
others to promote, exercise and protect his legitimate interests
of a political, economic, religious, social, cultural, pro-
fessional, labor union or other nature.
Article XXIII. Every person has a right to own such private
property as meets the essential needs of decent living and helps
to maintain the dignity of the individual and of the home.
Article XXIV. Every person has the right to submit respect-
ful petitions to any competent authority, for reasons of either
general or private Interest, and the right to obtain a prompt
Article XXV. No person may be deprived of his liberty ex-
cept in the cases and according to the procedures established by
No person may be deprived of liberty for nonfulfillment of
obligations of a purely civil character.
Every individual who has been deprived of his liberty has
the right to have the legality of his detention ascertained with-
out delay by a court, and the right to be tried without undue de-
lay, or, otherwise, to be released. He also has the right to
humane treatment during the time he is in custody.
Article XXVI. Every accused person is presumed to be inno-
cent until proved guilty.
Every person accused of an offense has the right to be given
an impartial and public hearing, and to be tried by courts pre-
viously established in accordance with pre-existing laws, and not
to receive cruel, infamous or unusual punishment.
Article XXVII. Every person has the right, in case of pur-
suit not resulting from ordinary crimes, to seek and receive asy-
lum in foreign territory, in accordance with the laws of each
country and with International agreements.
Article XXVIII. The rights of man are limited by the rights
of other 8, by the security of all, and by the Just demands of the
general welfare and the advancement of democracy. 1
Here follow 10 articles setting forth the essential duties
of every Individual, such as the duty to obey the law, to pay
taxes, and to educate his children. Ninth International Con-
ference of American States. Bogota. Colombia . March 30- May 2,
1948 ; Report of the Delegation of the United States of America.
With Related Documents (Department of State .publication 3263; 1948)
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not
covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-
servant, nor bis ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that Is thy
neighbour' s. 1
And If a stranger sojourn with thee In your land, ye shall
not vex him.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall "be unto you
as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself ...2
It Is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to
die, before ... he which Is accused have the accusers face to
face, and have license to answer for himself concerning the
crime laid against him.'
(c. 551-478 B.C.)
... To put the people to death without having Instructed
them; — this Is called cruelty. To require from them, suddenly,
the full tale of work, without giving them warning; — this Is
called oppression. To ls^ue orders a? If without urgency, at
first, and when the time comes to insist on them with severity;-
this Is called Injury. 4
X Exodus, XX, 13-17.
2 Levltlcus, XIX, 33-34.
Remark of the Roman Governor to the accuser of Paul; Acts,
The Chinese Classics, translated into English by James Legge
(London: N. Trubner and Co. , 1867-1876; 3 vole.), vol. I, p. 263.
(c. 495-429 B.C.)
... we are called a democracy, for the administration la
In the hands of the many and not of the few. But while the law
secures equal Justice to all alike in their private disputes, the
claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen 18 in
any way distinguished, he is preferred ... not as a matter of
privilege, but as the reward of merit.
Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit his country
whatever be the obscurity of hia condition.
There 18 no exclusiveneae in our public life, and in our
private intercourae we are not auspicious of one another, nor
angry with our neighbor if he does what he likes; we do not put
on sour looks at him which, though harmless, are not pleasant.
Our city is thrown open to the world, and we never expel a
foreigner or prevent him from seeing or learning anything . . .
The great impediment to action is ... not discussion, but
the want of that knowledge which Is gained by discussion, pre-
paratory to action. 1
(c. 428-348 B.C.)
All men are by nature equal, made, all, of the same earth
by the same Creator; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear
to God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince. 2
Funeral oration over dead Athenian warriors; put into the
mouth of Pericles by the Greek historian Thucydides. Thucydldes .
translated into English by Benjamin Jowett (Oxford: At the Claren-
don Press, 1900; 2d ed. , revised; 2 vols.), vol. I, pp. 127-130.
Ascribed to Plato in Tryon Edwards (editor), The New Dic -
tionary ££ Thoughts , revised and enlarged by C. N. Catrevas and
Jonathan Edwards (London and New York: Classic Publishing House,
/l936/), p. 165.
... the members of a state, if they are truly citizens,
ought to participate in its ad vantage s.i
The basis of a democratic state is liberty; which, according
to the common opinion of men, can only be enjoyed in such a
state ... 2
... in no other state, save where the power of the people
predominates, has liberty any home. Liberty the sweetest of all
blessings, and which if it is not equal for all, is not liberty. 3
It is the will and command of God, that ... a permission of
the most Paganish . Jewish . Turkish , or Antlchristlan consciences
and worships . bee granted to all men in all Nations and Countries :
and they are onely to bee fought against with that Sword which is
onely (in Soule matters ) able to conquer , to wit, the Sword of
God's Spirit , the Word of God . . . .
God require th not an uniformity of Religion to be inacted
and lnforced in any clvlll state : which lnforced uniformity (sooner
or later) is the greatest occasion of clvlll Warre . ravishing of
conscience , persecution of Christ Jesus in his servants, and of
the hypocrlsle and destruction of millions of souls .
Aristotle, Politics , translated by Benjamin Jowett (New
York: Modern Library, 1943), p. 139.
2 Ibld . . p. 260.
Cicero, The Republic , translated by G$ W. Featherstonhaugh
(New York: G. and C. Carvill, 1829), p. 60.
... lastly, true civility and Christianity may both flourish
In a state or Kingdome, notwithstanding the permission of divers
and contrary consciences, either of Jew or Gentile. *
JOHN MILTON •
... this is not the liberty which we can hope, that no
grievance ever should arise in the commonwealth: that let no
man In this world expect; but when complaints are freely heerd,
deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then Is the utmost
bound of civil liberty obtained that wise men look for. 2
... Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue
freely according to conscience, above all liberties. 3
Any one may employ as many exhortations and arguments as he
please, towards the promoting of another man's salvation. But
all force and compulsion are to be forborne. ... Every man in
that /religlon7 has the supreme and absolute authority of Judging
for himself. 4
The liberty of man in society is to be under no other legis-
lative power but that established by consent in the commonwealth;
nor under the dominion of any will or restraint of any law, but
what that legislative ./power/ shall enact according to the trust
put in It. ... freedom of men under government is to have a
standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society,
and made by the legislative power erected in it; ...5
Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution , edited by
Samuel L. Caldwell (Providence, R.I.: Publications of the Narra-
gansett Club, vol. Ill, 1867), pp. 3-4 of the Preface.
John Milton, Areopagltlca and Other Prose Writings (New
York: The Macmlllan Co., 1917), p. 4.
3 Ibid., p. 58.
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government and A
Letter Concerning Toleration , edited by J. W. Gough (Oxford:
Basil Blackwell, 1946) , pp. 151-152.
6 Ibid. , p. 13.
Men being, as has been said, by nature all free, equal, and
Independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected
to the political power of another, without his own consent ...
which ... Is by agreeing with other men to Join and unite Into a
community for their comfortable, safe and peaceable living one
amongst another ...1
Really I think that the poorest he that Is In England
hath a life to live as the greatest he; and therefore truly
Sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live un-
der a government ought first by his own consent to put himself
under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in
England Is not at all bound In a strict sense to that govern-
ment that he hath not had a voice to put himself under.?
For by natural birth all men are equally and alike born to
like propriety, liberty, and freedom; and as we are delivered
of God by the hand of nature into this world, every one with a
natural innate freedom, and propriety, even so are we to live,
every one equally and alike to enjoy his birthright and privi-
CHARLES, BARON DE MONTESQUIEU
As in a country of liberty, every man who is suoposed a
free agent, ought to be his own governor; the legislative power
should reside in the whole body of the people. 5
1 Ibid. , p. 48.
Debates between the enlisted men and the officers of Crom-
well' s army.
George H. Sabine, A History of Political Thought (New York:
Henry Holt and Co., 1947*7, p. 483."
4 Ibld ., p. 482.
Baron de Montesquieu, The, Spirit of the Laws , translated by
Thomas Nugent (London: George Bell and "Jons, 1902; new ed. , re-
vised by J. V. Pr i chard ) , vol. I, p. 165.
The political liberty of the subject Is a tranquility of
mind arising from the opinion each person has of his safety. In
order to have this liberty, It Is requisite the government be
so constituted that one man need not be afraid of another. 1
Liberty Is In perfection when criminal laws derive each
punishment from the particular nature of the crime. There are
then no arbitrary decisions; the punishment does not flow from
the capriciousness of the legislator, but from the very nature
of the thing; and man uses no violence to man. 2
FRANCIS M. A. DE VOLTAIRE
Toleration has never yet excited civil wars, whereas its
opposite has filled the earth with slaughter and desolation. 5
May all men remember that they are brethren] May they
alike abhor that tyranny which seeks to subject the freedom of
the will ...4
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the
death your right to say it. 5
(1706 - 1790)
Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free govern-
ment; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a
free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on Its ruins. 6
Ibid ., p. 163.
Ibid ., p. 198.
The Works of Voltaire (Paris, New York, /etc.7: E. R.
Du Mont, £.901/; 42 vols.), vol. IV, p. 153,
Ibid ., p. 278.
Often attributed to Voltaire but now established as merely
a paraphrase of a passage in Voltaire's Essay on Toleranoe .
Editorial "On Freedom of Speech and of the Press", Pennsyl-
vania Gazette . Nov. 10-17, 1737.
Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and
every other man has a right to knock him down' for lt.l
JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU
To renounce our liberty is to renounce our quality of man,
and with it all the rights and duties of humanity. ... Such a
renunciation Is incompatible with man's nature; for to take away
all freedom from his will is to take away all morality from his
If we ask precisely wherein consists the greatest good of all,
which ought to be the aim of every system of legislation, we shall
find that it Is summed up in two objects, liberty and equality —
liberty, because any individual dependence is so much force with-
drawn from the body of the State; equality, tecaus* liberty can-
not subsist without it. 3
The rights of men — that is to say, the natural rights of
mankind — are Indeed sacred things; and if any public measure is
proved mischievously to affect them, the objection ought to be
fatal to that measure ... If these natural rights are farther
affirmed and declared by express covenants, if they are clearly
defined and secured against chicane, against power and authority,
by written Instruments and positive engagements, they are in a
still better condition ... Indeed, this formal recognition, by the
sovereign power, of an original right In the subject,
James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (New York: Modern
Library, /l931/) , p. "§!?.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract , translated by
Henry J. Tozer (London: George Allen and Unwln, /1924 7 ; 7th ed.),
3 Ibld. , p. 145.
can never be subverted but by rooting up the radical principles
of government, and even of society Itself, 1
... happily the Government of the United States, which
gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, re^
quires only that they who live under Its protection, should de-
mean themselves as good citizens . .. 2
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at
the price of chains and slavery? Forbid, Almighty God! I know
not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty,
or give me death! 3
Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was
before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have
those rights better secured. His natural rights are the founda-
tion of all his civil rights. ... Natural rights are those which
appertain to man in right of his existence. Of this kind are all
Speech on the East India Bill, delivered Dec. 1, 1783;
The Works of ... Edmund Burke (London: John C. Ninmo, 1899;
TZ^vois. ), vol. 2, p. 4371
Letter written during his first administration, Aug. 17,
1790, to the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. John
C. Fitzpatrlck (editor), The Writings of George Washington from
the Origin al Manuscript Sour ces, 1745 - T799 ..7 ( wasningxon: Gov-
ernment Printing Office, ££$31-194377 3"9~vols.), vol. 31, p. 93.
Speech to the Virginia House of .Burgesses on Mar. 23, 1775;
Ashley H. Thorndlke (editor), Modern Eloquence. A Library of the
World' s^Best Spoken Thought (New York: P. P. Collier and Son
Corp. /1936/; 15 vols.), vol. XI, p. 4.
the intellectual rights, or rights of the mind, and also all
those rights of acting as an Individual for his own comfort and
happiness, which are not Injurious to the natural rights of
others. Civil rights are those which appertain to man in right
of his being a member of society. 1
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time:
the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
The basis of our government being the opinion of the people,
the very first object should be to keep that right; and were It
left to me to decide whether we should have a government with-
out newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I would not
hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that
every man should receive those papers, and be capable of reading
... a bill of rights la what the people are entitled to
against every government on earth, general or particular; and
what no Just government should refuse, or rost on inference.
Half a loaf is better than no bread. If we cannot secure
all our rights, let us secure what we can.*
... I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.6
... If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve
this Union or to change its republican form > let them stand
William M. Van der Weyde (editor), The Life and Works
of Thoma s Paine (New Rochelle, N.Y. : Thomas Paine National
Historical Association, 1925; 10 vols.), vol. VI, pp. 69-71.
Jefferson's "Summary View of • the Rights of British America",
1774, in Philip S. Foner (editor), Basic Writings of Thomas
Jefferson (New York: Willey Book Company, £1944/7, p. 19.
Letter to Col. Edward Carrlngton, Jan. 16, 1787; Andrew A.
Lipscomb (editor), The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington:
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903-1904; 20 vols.),
vol. VI, pp. 57-58.
Letter to James Madison, Dec. 20, 1787; ibid., pp. 388-
Letter to James Madison, March 15, 1789; Ibid . , vol. VII,
_ Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800; ibid., vol. X,
undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion
may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it ...1
... Equal and exact Justice to all men, ... freedom of religion;
freedom of the press; freedom of persons under the protection of the
habeas corpus ; and trial by Juries impartially selected - these princi-
pie 8 form the bright constellation which has gone before us ... 2
It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are ra-
tional beings or not. and blasphemy against religion to suppose it
cannot stand the test of truth and reason. ... for God's sake, let us
freely hear both sides, if we must choose. 3
Whera the press is free, and every man able to read, all is
Nothing then la unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable
rights of man. 5
... In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits
of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man Is equally en-
titled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to
these natural and Just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant
titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer
and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farm-
ers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means
of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the
injustice of their Government. There are no necessary evils In gov-
ernment. ... If it would confine itself to equal protection,
First Inaugural Address, Mar. 4, 1801; ibid ., vol. Ill, p. 319.
Same address; Ibid., pp. 321-322.
^Letter to Nicholas G. DuFlef, Apr. 19, 1814; Ibid ., vol. XIV,
^Letter to Col. Charles Yancey, Jan. 6, 1816; Ibid., p. 384.
5 Letter to Major John Cartwrlght, June 5, 1824; ibid . . vol. XVI,
and, as Heaven does Its rains, shower its favors alike on the
high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an un-
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS
Justice, as defined in the Institutes of Justinian, nearly
2000 years ago, and as it is felt and understood by all who
understand human relations and human rights, is —
"Constans et perpetua voluntas, Jus suum cuique trlbuendi.''
"The constant and perpetual will to secure to eve^y one HIS
OWN right. 2
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
We want a state of things . . . which allows every man the
largest liberty compatible with the liberty of every other man. 3
The genius of the country /America/ has marked out our true
policy, — opportunity. Opportunity of civil rights, of educa-
tion, . . . doors wide open ... to every nation, to every race and
skin, white men, red men, yellow men, black men; hospitality of
fair field and equal laws to all. Let them compete and success to
the strongest, the wisest, and the best. 4
Message to the Senate, July 10, 1832, vetoing a bill to es-
tablish a Bank of the United States; James D. Richardson (editor),
A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents of the
United States . 1789 - 1897 " (Washington: Government Printing Office,
1898; 10 vols.), vol. II, p. 590.
Argument of John Qulncy Ad?ms Before the Supreme Court of the
United States In the Case of the United States Appellants vs.
Cinque and Others . Africans . . . . Delivered on the 24th of Feb-
ruary and 1st of March 1841 . . . (New York: S. W. Benedict, 1841) ,
Ralph Waldo Emerson. Fortune of the Republic (Boston: Hough-
ton, Osgood and Co., 1878), p. 40.
4 Ibld. , pp. 41-42.
The theory of politics which has possessed the minds of
men, and which they have expressed the best they could In their
laws and in their revolutions, considers persons and property
as the two objects for whose protection government exists. Of
persons, all have equal rights in virtue of being identical in
JOHN STUART MILL
... If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and
only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be
no more Justified in silencing that one person, than he. if he
had the power, would be Justified in silencing mankind. 2
... the appropriate region of human liberty ... comprises,
first, the Inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of
conscience ... liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom
of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or specula-
tive, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of ex-
pressing and publishing opinions . .. being almost of as much im-
portance as the liberty of thought. ... Secondly ... liberty of
taates and pursuits ... so long as what we do does not harm our
/fellow creatures/ ... Thirdly ... the liberty ... of combina-
tion among individuals ... No society in which these liberties
are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its
form of government; ...3
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth
on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedi-
cated to the proposition that all men are ereated equal. ...
It is for us the living ... to be dedicated here to the un-
finished work which they who have fought here have thus far so
The Best of Ralph Valdo Emerson (New York: Walter J. Black,
published for the Classics Club, 1941), p. 253.
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (New York: Henry Holt and Co.,
1873), p. 35.
Ibid., pp. 23-28.
nobly advanced ... that this nation, under God, shall have a
new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by
the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 1
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON
... the exercise of the suffrage Is the primary school in
which the citizen learns how to use the ballot as a weapon of
defense; the ballot is the scepter of power in the hand of
every citizen. Woman can never have an equal chance with man
in the struggle of life until she too wields this power. *
Each of us Inevitable,
Each of us limitless - each of us with bis or her
right upon the earth,
Each of us allow'd the eternal purports of the earth,
Each of us here as divinely as any is here. 3
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their
counterpart of on the same terms. 4
Address at the dedication of a soldiers' cemetery, Gettys-
burg, Pa., Nov. 19, 1863; Senate Document No. 439, 62d Congress,
2d Session (1912), p. 35.
Paper on "Self-Government the Best Means of Self- Develop-
ment" read to the Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage, Mar. 7,
1884. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda
Joslyn Gage (editors)^ History of Woman Suffrage (New York: Fow-
ler and Wells, 1881-/1922/; 6 voTs.), vol. 4, p. 41.
The Complete Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman , with an in-
troduction by Malcolm Cowley (New York: Pellegrini and Cudahy,
/T9487; 2 vols.), vol. I, p. 156.
4 Ibid., p. 82.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
... when men have realized that tine has upset many fighting
faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the
very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good de-
sired is better reached by free trade in ideas— that the best
test of truth is the power of thought to get itself accepted in
the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground
upon which their wishes safely can be carried out, «.. I think we
should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the ex-
pression of opinions that we loathe and believe fraught with
death, unless they so Imminently threaten immediate interference
with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immedi-
ate check is required to save the country. *
SUSAN B. ANTHONY
... The principle of self-government can not be violated
with Impunity. The individuals right to it is sacred— regard-
less of class, caste, race, color, sex, or any other accident
or incident of birth. 2
Dissenting opinion, Justice Brandeis concurring, in the
case of Abrams et al. v. United States (1919). Pour men and a
girl were sentenced to prison on the ground that by secretly
printing and distributing leaflets in protest against the sending
of American troops into Russia after the 1917 revolution they in-
tended to provoke resistance to the United States in time of war.
250 U.S. 630.
Address delivered In many of the large cities of the United
States between 1870 and 1880. Ida Husted Harper, The Life and
Work of Susan B. Anthony ... (Indianapolis and Kansas City: The
Bo wen-Merrill Company, 1898-1908; 3 vols.), vol. II, appendix,
In all the forms of government and administrative pro-
visions which they are authorized to prescribe, the commisslon 1
should bear in mind that the government which they are estab-
lishing Is designed not for our satisfaction or for the expression
of our theoretioal views, but for the happiness, peace and pros-
perity of the people of the Philippine Islands, and the measures
adopted should be made to conform to their customs, their habits,
and even their prejudices, to the fullest extent consistent with
the accomplishment of the indispensable requisites of Just and
effective government. ».. Upon every division and branch of the
government of the Philippines, therefore, must be imposed these
inviolable rules} That no person shall be deprived of life,
liberty or property without due process of law; that private
property shall not be taken for public use without Just compen-
sation; that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall en-
Joy the right to a speedy and public trial, to be informed of
the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with
the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for ob-
taining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of
counsel for his defence; that excessive ball shall not be re-
quired, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual pun-
ishment inflicted; that no person shall be put twice in Jeopardy
for the same offence, or be compelled in any criminal case to
be a witness against himself; that the right to be secure against
unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated; that
neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist except as
a punishment for crime; that no bill of attainder, or ex post
facto law shall be passed; that no law shall be passed abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the rights of the
people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a
redress of grievances; that no law shall be made respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there-
of, and that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious pro-
fession and worship without discrimination or preference shall
forever be allowed. 2
... the right is more precious than peace, and we shall
fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our
^he Philippine Commission, appointed on April 7, 1900 to
perfect the work of organizing and establishing civil government
in the Philippine Islands,
Instruction s of the President to the Philippine Commission .
April 7. 1900 rwashlngton: Government Printing Office, 1900), p. 6.
hearts, - for democracy, for the right of those who submit to
authority to have a voice in their own Governments, for the
rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion
of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace
and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.
To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, every-
thing that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of
those who know that the day has come when America is privileged
to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her
birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God
helping her, she can do no other. 1
There must be equal rights for all, and special privileges
for none ...2
I believe in property rights, but I believe in them as ad-
juncts to f and not as substitutes for human rights. I believe
that normally the rights of property coincide with the rights of
man: but where they do not, then the rights of man must be put
above the rights of property. 3
We stand against all tyranny, by the few or by the many.
We stand for the rule of the many in the Interest of all of us. 4
We must all strive to keep as our most precious heritage the
liberty each to worship his God as to him seems best ... 5
There must be absolute religious liberty, for tyranny and in-
tolerance are as abhorrent in matters intellectual and spiritual,
as in matters political and material. 6
War message to Congress, Apr. 2, 1917; Congressional Record ,
vol. 55, part 1, p. 104.
Albert Bushnell Hart and Herbert Ronald Ferleger (editors),
Theo dore Roosevel t Cyclopedia (New York: Roosevelt Memorial Assocla-
tion,^r942/), p. 532.
4 Ibid. , p. 137.
5 Ibld .. p. 518.
Ours la a government of liberty, by, through, and under
the law. No man is above It, and no man is below it.*
NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER
The Pour Freedoms which the Bill of Rights assures and
defends are those of religion, of speech, of the press, and of
assembly. These four forms of freedom are in effect but four
different aspects of one and the same form of freedom. ... They
name and define the fundamental rights which free men reserve to
themselves as individuals when they set up an organized form of
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some gen-
erations much is given. Of other generations much is expected.
This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny. In
this world of ours in other lands, there are some people, who,
in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and seem to
have grown too weary to carry on the fight. ... only our success
can stir their ancient hope.
... it is the part of ... America to stand for the freedom
of the human mind and to carry the torch of truth. ... Liberty
is In the air Americans breathe. Our Government is based on the
belief that a people can be both strong and free, that civilized
men need no restraint but that imposed by themselves against abuse
of freedom. 4
1 Ibld . t p. 167.
Nicholas Murray Butler, "The Four Freedoms" (written to
illuminate the themes of the New York World's Fair), International
Concilia tion. May 1939, p. 284.
June 27, 1936; Samuel I. Rosenman (editor), The Public
Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt (New~York: Random
House, T9"3"8-J, vol. 5, pp. 235-23^.
Sept. 18, 1936; Ibid. f pp. 363-364.
Democracy, the practice of self-government, Is a covenant
among free men to respect the rights and liberties of their
It Is our pride that In our country men are free to differ
with each other and with their Government and to follow their
own thoughts and to express them. We believe that the only whole
man Is the free man, 2
Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our
support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights and keep
In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look
forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first Is freedom of speech and expression - everywhere
In the world.
The second Is freedom of every person to worship God In his
own way - everywhere In the world.
The third Is freedom from want, which, translated Into world
terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every
nation a healthy peacetime life for Its Inhabitants - everywhere
in the world.
The fourth Is freedom from fear, which, translated Into
world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such
a point and In such a thorough fashion that no nation will be In
a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any
neighbor - anywhere in the world.*
MRS. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
We must not be confused about what freedom is; basic human
rights are simple and easily understood: freedom of speech and
a free pr^ss; freedom of religion and worship; freedom of assembly
and the right of petition; the right of men to be secure in their
Jan. 4, 1939; Ibid., vol. 8, p. 1.
2 Sept. 21, 1940; ibid., vol. 9, p. 374.
Jan. 6, 1941; ibld #> p# 672#
Same address; ibid .
hones and free from unreasonable search and seizure and from
arbitrary arrest and punishment. We must not be deluded by the
efforts of the forces of reaction to prostitute the great words
of our free tradition and thereby to confuse the struggle. De-
mocracy, freedom, human rights have come to have a definite
meaning to the people of the world which we must not allow any
nation to so change that they are made synonymous with suppression
and dictatorship. I
HARRY S. TRUMAN
( 1884- )
We believe that all men are created equal and that they
have the right to equal Justice under the law.
We believe that all men have the right to freedom of
thought and of expression and the right to worship as they
We believe that all men are entitled to equal opportunities
for Jobs, for homes, for good health and for education.
We believe that all men should have a voice in their Gov-
ernment and that Government should protect, not usurp, the rights
of the people.
These are the basic Civil rights which are the source and
support of our democracy. 8
WHEREAS, near the end of the tragic conflict between the
Northern and Southern St-tes, the Congress adopted a Joint reso-
lution proposing an amendment to the Constitution which would out-
law slavery In the United States and in every place subject to
its Jurisdiction; and
WHEREAS the resolution was signed by President Lincoln on
February 1, 1865, and thereafter led to the adoption of the Thir-
teenth Amendment to the Constitution; and
WHEREAS that Amendment is a corner stone in the foundation
of our American traditions, and the signing of the resolution is
• landmark in the Nation's effort to fulfill the principles of
freedom and Justice proclaimed in the first ten amendments to the
1 Speech of Sept. 28, 1948, at the Sorbonne, Paris; Depart-
ment of State Bulletin , Oct. 10, 1948, pp. 457-458.
^Message of Feb. 2, 1948 to Congress; Congressional Record ,
vol, 94, part 1, p. 927.
WHEREAS, by a Joint resolution approved June 30, 1948 (62
Stat. 1150), the Congress authorized the President to proclaim
the first dsy of February of each year as National Freedom Day
in commemoration of the signing of the resolution of February 1,
WHEREAS the Government and people of the United States whole-
heartedly support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on Decem-
ber 10, 1948, which declares that •recognition of the Inherent
dignity and of the equal and Inalienable rights of all members
of the human family is the foundation of freedom, Justice and
peace in the world' ;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY S. TRUMAN, President of the United
States of America, do hereby designate February 1, 1949, and each
succeeding February 1, as National Freedom Day; and I call upon
the people of the United States to pause on that day in solemn
contemplation of the glorious blessings of freedom which we humbly
and thankfully enjoy.*
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
••• The simple faith, the unshakable conviction they ^pur
colonial forebears/ held in man's individual rights and his
equality before the law and Gk>d 9 is the most priceless Jewel in
all the vast spiritual and material heritage these men and women
bequeathed to us. We oannot afford to lose their sharp sense of
basic value s— expressed by Patrick Henry in one imperishable
WENDELL L. WILLKIE
... The only soil in which liberty can grow'ls that of a
united people. We must have faith that the welfare of the one
is the welfare of all. We must know that the truth can only be
Proclamation of Jan. 25, 1949; Federal Register . Jan. 27,
1949, p. 361.
Commencement address of June 1, 1949 at Columbia University;
New York Times . June 2, 1949, p. 24.
reached by the expression of our free opinions, without fear and
without rancor. We must acknowledge that all are equal before
God and before the law. And we must learn to abhor disruptive
pressures whether religious, political, or economic that the en-
emies of liberty employ. *
Speech accepting the Presidential nomination, Aug, 17, 1940,
Congressional Record , vol., 86, part 17, appendix, p. 5064.
THE UNITED NATI0N8
DECLARATION BY UNITED NATIONS, 1942
The Governments signatory hereto, ...
Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies
is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious
freedom, and to preserve, human rights and Justice in their own
lands as well as In other lands, ... /pledge to wage war against
the Axis to the end7.^
DUMBARTON OAKS PROPOSALS, 1944
With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and
well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly rela-
tions among nations, the Organization should facilitate solu-
tions of international economic, social, and other humanitarian
problems and promote respect for human rights and fundamental
CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS, 1945
We the peoples of the United Nations determined ...
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the
dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of
men and women . . .
have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these
aims . ...
Article 1. The purposes of the United Nations are: ...
Department of State Bulletin . Jan. 3, 1942, p. 3.
2 Section A of chapter 14 of the draft charter for a general
International organization, agreed upon at Dumbarton Oaks in Wash-
ington, D.C., in "the fall of 1944 by representatives of the United
States, the United Kingdom, the .Soviet Union, and China; Department
of State Bulletin . Oct. 8, 1944, p. 372.
3. To achieve international cooperation in solving in-
ternational problems of an economic, social, cultural, or
humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging re-
spect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all
without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion ...
Artiole 13. The General Assembly shall initiate studies
and make recommendations for the purpose of: •••
b. promoting international cooperation in the economic,
social, cultural, educational, and health fields, and assisting
in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for
all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. .
Article 55. With a view to the creation of conditions of
stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and
friendly relations among nations based on respect for the prin-
ciple of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the
United Nations shall promote: •••
c. universal respect for, and observance of, human rights
and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race,
sex, language, or religion*
Article 56. All members pledge themselves to take Joint
and separate action in cooperation with the Organization for
the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55. ...
Article 62. The Economic and Social Council ... may make
recommendations for the purpose of promoting respect for, and
observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. . ..
Article 68. The Economic and Social Council shall set up
commissions in economic and social fields and for the promotion
of human rights, ...
Article 76. The basic objectives of the trusteeship sys-
tem . .. shall be: ...
c. to encourage respect for human rights and for funda-
mental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex,
language, or religion. ...1
lication 2353; 1947
Charter of the United Nations (Department of State pub-
HARRY 3. TRUMAN, 1945
Under this document /the Charter7 we have good reason to
expect the framing of an International bill of rights, acceptable
to all the nations involved. That bill of rights will be as much
a part of international life as our own Bill of Rights is a part
of our Constitution. The Charter is dedicated to the achievement
find observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Unless
we can attain those objectives for all men and women everywhere -
without regard to race, language or religion - we cannot have perma-
nent peace and security. 1
WILLIAM BENTON, 1948
Freedom of expression is unique among the liberties ... for
it protects and promotes the other freedoms that create a free
society of happy men. ... in seeking freedom of information ....
we are operating at the very heart of the problem of the dignity
of man and of peace among nationa. ...
The policy of the United States today is to help build a
world in which man's mind can be free, the kind of world in which
man can walk upright and unafraid In the image of God. For this
reason we from the United States are vitally concerned with free-
dom of information. It is the bedrock foundation of man's free-
dom on this earth. . . . The United States thus holds that freedom
of expression Is the moral right of all men. . . .
Freedom to call a spade a spade, freedom to call expansion
and aggression by their proper names, these are not causes of war.
On the contrary they operate to discourage war. They can marshal
the opinion of the people of the world so that the potential aggres.
sor nation may be brought to its senses. 2
Address at the closing plenary session of the San Francisco
Conference, June 25, 1945; Department of State Bulletin . July 1,
1945, p. 5.
Address of Mar. 25, 1948, delivered by Mr. Benton at the U.N.
Conference on Freedom of Information, Geneva; Department of State
press release 231, Mar. 25, 1948. Mr. Benton was Assistant Secre-
tary of State and Chairman of the American Delegation to the Con-
WILLARD L. THORP, 1948
We are convinced that without access to unfettered news, the
people In any country cannot carry out their democratic functions
as an Informed body of citizens. We are convinced that without
a free flow of Information between countries, the development of
stable international understanding is impossible.
We are not afraid of so-called false and slanderous informa-
tion which may at any time find its way into the columns of a
free press. We are not afraid of it because we believe in the
dignity, capacity and worth of man. We believe in his judgment
and innate intelligence and we are certain that we can trust in
his Judgment based upon Information and opinion of all kinds
freely presented, and freely received.
This le the fundamental protection of the true democracy,
where every effort is made co reduce the power of the fev, either
in private or public life, and to rely to the fullest degree
possible upon the broad Judgment and participation by all the
By contrast, in nations where information is state-con-
trolled and censorship rules, a few government officials have
the power to lead their people down the road to misunderstanding
and even war, between twin walls of contrived ignorance and dis-
torted propaganda. The power of the state is such that there is
no protection. Only the opinion of the few and facts selected
by the few are presented to the people. The essence of the cen-
tralized approach to information is not freedom, but control. 1
GEORGE C. MARSHALL, 1948
It is entirely fitting that this General Assembly, meeting
in France, which fired the hearts of men with the Declaration of
the Rights of Man in 1789, should consider In 1948 the approval
of a new declaration of human rights for free men in a free world.
Not only is it appropriate that we should have reaffirmed our re-
spect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms but that we
should renew our determination to develop and protect those rights
Statement of Aug. 27, 1948 before the U.N. Economic and
Social Council; U.S. 'Mission to the United Nations, press release
515, Sept. 8, 1948. Mr. Thorp is Assistant Secretary of State
and U.S. Representative in the Economic and Social Council.
Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; freedom of
opinion and expression; freedom from arbitrary arrest and de-
tention; the right of a people to choose their own government,
to take part in its work, and. if they become dissatisfied with
it, to change it; the obligation of government to act through
law - these are some of the elements that combine to give dignity
and worth to the individual. •••
Systematic and deliberate denials of basic human rights lie
at the root of most of our troubles and threaten the work of the
United Nations. ...
The maintenance of these rights and freedoms depends upon
adherence to the abiding principles of Justice and morality em-
bodied In the rule of law. It will, therefore, always be true
that those Members of the United Nations which strive with sin-
cerity or purpose to live by the Charter and to oonform to the
principles of justice and law proclaimed by it will be those
states which are genuinely dedicated to the preservation of the
dignity and integrity of the individual. 1
JOHN FOSTER DULLES, 1948
I hope and believe this Assembly will endorse this Declara-
tion /of Human RightsT". But we must not stop there. We must go
on wlTh the drafting of a Covenant which will seek to translate
human rights into law. It does not minimize the importance of
our own Declaration of Independence to recognize that the Con-
stitution and its Bill of Rights were required to establish the
body of law necessary to achieve practical results. So with the
Declaration before the Assembly. It is an important proclamation
of principles and should be approved. But that approval is only
a step toward fulfilling the faith in fundamental human rights,
In the dignity and worth of the human person, and the pledge to
practice toleranoe that is contained in the Preamble of the United
Nations Charter. *
Statement by Secretary of State Marshall before the U.N.
General Assembly, Sept. 23, 1948; Department of State Bulletin .
Oct. 3, 1948, p. 432.
Address by Mr. Dulles at the Paris House of the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace, Sept. 29, 1948; International
Conciliation , Nov. 1948, pp. 584-585. Mr. Dulles was a U.S.
Delegate to the 1948 session of the General Assembly.
MRS. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, 1948
The long and meticulous study and debate of which this uni-
versal Declaration of Human Rights Is the product means that It
reflects the composite views of the many men and governments who
have contributed to Its formulation. Not every man nor every
fovernment can have what he wants In a document of this kind,
here are of course particular provisions In the declaration be-
fore us with which we are not fully satisfied. I have no doubt
that Is true of other delegations, but taken as a whole the Dele-
gation of the United States believes that this is a good document-
even a great document— and we propose to give it our full support.
The position of the United States on the various parts of the dec-
laration is a matter of record, . ..
Certain provisions of the declaration are stated in such
broad terms ag to be acceptable only because of the limitations
in article 29 providing for limitation on the exercise of the
rights for the purpose of meeting the requirements of morality,
public order, and the general welfare. An example of this is the
provision that everyone has the right of equal access to the pub-
lic service in his country. The basic principle of equality and
of nondiscrimination as to public employment is sound, but it can-
not be accepted without limitations. My Government, for example,
would consider that this is unquestionably subject to limitation
in the Interest of public order and the general welfare. It
would not consider that the exclusion from public employment of
persons holding subversive political beliefs and not loyal to the
basic principles and practices of the constitution and laws of
the country would in any way infringe upon this right.
Likewise, my Government has made it clear in the course of
the development of the declaration that it does not consider that
the economic and social and cultural rights stated in the declara-
tion imply an obligation on governments to assure the enjoyment of
these right-s by direct governmental action, , ..
In giving our approval to the declaration today, it is of
primary importance that we keep clearly in mind the basic charac-
ter of the document. It is not a treaty; it is not an inter-
national agreement. It is not and does not purport to be a state-
ment of law or of legal obligation. It is a declaration of basic
principles of human rights and freedoms, to be stamped with the
approval of the General AsaenKLy by formal vote of its members,
and to serve as a common standard of achievement for all peoples
of all nations.
We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the
life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind, that is
the approval by the General Assembly of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights recommended by the Third Committee. This declara-
tion may well become the international Magna Carta of all men
everywhere. We hope Its proclamation by the General Assembly will
be an event comparable to the proclamation of the Declaration of
the Rights of Man by the French people in 1789, the adoption of
the Bill of Rights by the people of the United States, and the
adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other
At a time when there are so many Issues on which we find it
difficult to reach a common basis of agreement, it is a signifi-
cant fact that 58 states have found such a large measure of agree-
ment in the complex field of human rights. This must be taken as
testimony of our common aspiration first voiced in the Charter of
the United Nations to lift men everywhere to a higher standard of
life and to a greater enjoyment of freedom.!
GEORGE V. ALLEN, 1948
... we mean by democracy that body of concepts of human
liberty and respect for the dignity of the individual personality
which the word has always meant to us. •••
Human beings everywhere must enjoy the basic rights of free
speech. ... Ideas must gain acceptance in the free competition
of the market place and not from the dictates of a governmental
We are prepared, under democracy, to tolerate every idea ex-
cept intolerance. 2
BENJAMIN V. COHEN, 1949
It will require a great deal of time and concerted effort to
establish adequate minimum standards of respect for human rights
Statement by Mrs. Roosevelt before the U.N. General Assembly,
Dec. 9, 1948; Department of State Bulletin . Dec. 19, 1948, pp. 751-
752. Mrs. Roosevelt was a U.S. Delegate to the General Assembly,
Statement by Mr. Allen before the General Conference of
the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),
Nov. 19, 1948; Department of the State press release 923, Nov. 19,
1948. Mr. Allen, Assistant Secretary of State, was Chairman of the
U.S. Delegation to the Conference.
and freedoms everywhere in the world as envisaged in the Charter.
The General Assembly rightly took as its first step the working *
out of a general Declaration of Human Rights so that we may have
some standards with which to start. In all our countries, includ-
ing my own, much remains to be done, and none of us can afford to
assume a self-righteous attitude. But if we are serious in our
quest for peace, we cannot fall to do our part and make every effort
towards promoting minimum standards of human rights. ...
I think that we are all in agreement that, in the light of
our pledges in the Charter, the functions of the state should be of
a character to promote and not to destroy human rights and funda-
mental freedoms* •«• No state has the sovereign right claimed by
Hitler's Third Reich to declare war on freedom and religion. State
sovereignty does not mean state tyranny. In fields of thought and
religion where men cannot agree, freedom is the only alternative to
Unless a state allows freedom for the peaceful expression of
ideas, the road toward peaceful change and progress is blocked. Un-
restrained political power, no less than unrestrained economic power,
has a corroding effect upon those who exercise it. This is particu-
larly true when the wlelders of power deny themselves the benefit
of any views not meekly submissive and subservient to their will
and caprice. Power which is unwilling to combat error with reason
is not likely itself to be guided by reason. No state need fear
the errors of dissenting opinion and nonconforming thought where
reason is free to combat them. It is uneasy privilege, not confi-
dent progress, which prefers the arbitrament of force to the test
of reason. Suppression of nonconforming opinion has always' char-
acterized the police state which fears the freedom of its own citi-
zens. Tolerance of dissent is the most oertain sign of a free state
which cherishes and does not fear the freedoms of its citizens and
uses force only to protect and not to suppress that freedom. 1
DURWARD V. SANDIFER, 1949
••• there is much more in the United Nations system for the
development and protection of human rights than a Declaration and
a prospective Covenant, Important as they are. There is authority
for political action by the Security Council and the General Assem-
bly. Action to maintain the political Independence and free in-
stitutions of Members of the United Nations is an essential bul-
wark for the maintenance of human rights. There Is authority, in
Statement by Mr. Cohen before the Ad Hoc Political Committee
of the U.N. General Assembly, Apr. 18, 1949; Department of State
Bulletin . May 1, 1949. Mr. Cohen was a U.S. Delegate to~The Gen-
£he General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council for the
making of studies and recommendations. The Genocide Convention
and the Freedom of Information Conventions are a product of such
action. Other subjects such as nationality, slavery, forced la-
bor, freedom of association, and the protection of minorities are
under study. There is authority in the Trusteeship Council to de-
velop and protect human rights in trust territories and in depen-
dent territories generally. There are the International Law
Commission and the International Court of Justice for the develop-
ment, interpretation, and application of International Law. True,
their Jurisdiction is largely voluntary, but they are available
for action as the international community grows into the realiza-
tion of human rights through international action.
I have sought ... to set the subject of international pro-
tection of human rights in some historical perspective. What we
see is a pattern of evolution from wholly local protection through
the international protection of aliens to a developing system of
international protection without regard to nationality. This sys-
tem is based upon a growing realization on the international as on
the national scale that peace and order and stability can only be
securely based on communities in which the dignity and worth of
the human person are respected and fundamental human rights are
ADRIAN 3. FISHER, 1949
We must remember also that In the English-speaking countries
the struggle for freedom has been going on for over 700 years.
Freedom was not presented to us or assured by anybody; it has
been purchased and maintained by the lives and the suffering of
fighters for liberty from the Middle Ages to the present time.
It cannot be bestowed on anybody by the mere signing of a docu-
ment — particularly on peoples who have never known what It is
to be free. We should have no Illusions that any document we
sign, or that any legal steps we take, will have an immediate
and automatic effect in assisting peoples behind the Iron Cur-
tain to achieve human rights comparable to those existing in
other countries. But even though the task is difficult, it is
one which can and must be attempted. Every advance of human
rights ... every attempt by free peoples of the world to recog-
nize, improve, and proclaim the traditions vhlch make men free
bring nearer the inevitable day when other peoples will demand
and obtain these freedoms. The conscience of mankind and the
efforts of the free peoples of the world to establish an inter-
national rule of lew must go hand-in-hand. The goal may not be
Address of Apr. 29, 1949 by Durward V. Sandifer, Acting Di-
rector of the Office of United Nations Affairs, Department of State,
before the American Society of International Law, Washington, D.C.
achleved in our lifetime. Nevertheless we owe it to ourselves, to
our children, and our children's children to bend every effort to
this end. 1
PHILIP C. JESSUP, 1949
••• in ratifying the Charter of the United Nations we have
pledged ourselves to cooperate in promoting "universal respect for
and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.' 1 In 1945
we were free to choose. We could have chosen to go on down the
Isolationist path. Thank God we chose Instead the upward path of
That choice has in a new sense set us free. We are now free
to act internationally upon our deep convictions that the welfare
of the individual is something we care about not Just when that
individual is an American citizen but because he is a human being.
The law of the international society is catching up with the
conscience of mankind. Four and five decades ago when American
hearts were wrung and American sympathies went out to persecuted
minorities in other lands, our Government was hampered by the re-
strictive rules of the era. Jurists strove to grapple with the
human problem and sought to develop the doctrine of humanitarian
intervention. That doctrine failed to prosper not because it was
humanitarian but because it was unilateral and unilateralism con-
tained the germs of its own fatal malady.
It is not a new thing in American history that we care and
care deeply what happens to human beings throughout the world.
What is new is our acceptance, along with that of the great ma-
jority of other members of the family of nations, of the princi-
ples which give us a legal as well as a moral interest in human
Address by Adrian 3. Fisher, Legal Adviser of the Depart-
ment of State, before the California State Bar Association at
San Francisco, California, Sept. 2, 1949.
Speech of Sept. 6, 1949, delivered b** Philip C. Jessup,
United States Ambassador at Large, before the Section on Inter-
national and Comparative Law and the Junior Bar Conference of
the 72d annual meeting of the American Bar Association in St*
HARRY S. TRUMAN,' 1949
The Charter /pt the United Nations7 plainly makes respect
for human rights by nations a matter of International concern.
The member nations have learned from bitter experience that re-
gard for human rights is indispensable to political, economic
and social progress. They have learned that disregard of human
rights is the beginning of tyranny end, too often, the beginning
For these reasons, the United Nations has devoted much of its
time to fostering respect for human rights. The General Assembly
has adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
Convention on Genocide. Other important measures in this field
are under study.
I am confident that this great work will go steadily forward.
The preparation of a Covenant on Human Rights by the Human Rights
Commission is a task with which the United States is deeply con-
cerned. We believe strongly that the attainment of basic civil
and political rights for men and women everywhere — without re-
gard to trace, language or religion — is essential to the peace
we are seeking. We hope that the Covenant on Human Rights will
contain effective provisions regarding freedom of Information.
The minds of men must be free from artificial and arbitrary re-
straints, in order that they may seek the truth and apply their
intelligence to the making of a better world. 1
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 1948
WHEREAS recognition of the Inherent dignity and of the equal
and inalienable rights of all members of the human family Is the
foundation of freedom, Justice and peace in the world,
WHEREAS disregard and contempt for human rights have re-
sulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of
mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall
enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and
want has be-^n proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common
Address delivered Oct. 24, 1949 at the laying of the corner-
stone of the Secretariat Building of the permanent United Nations
Headquarters in New York.
WHEREAS it Is essential, if man is not to be compelled to
have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny
and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the
rule of law,
WHEREAS it is essential to promote the development of friend-
ly relations between nations,
WHEREAS the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter
reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dig-
nity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of
men and women and have determined to promote social progress and
better standards of life in larger freedom,
WHEREAS Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in
co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal
respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental free-
WHEREAS a common understanding of these rights and freedoms
is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a
common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations,
to the end that every individual and every organ of* society,
keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by
teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and
freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international,
to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance,
both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the
peoples of territories under their Jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should
act towards one another In a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth
in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race,
colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, na-
tional or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the
political, Jurisdictional or International status of the country
or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be Independent,
trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sov-
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and
the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment*
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person
before the lav.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any
discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled
to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of
this Declaration and against any Incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent
national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted
Mm by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public
hearing by an independent and Impartial tribunal, in the determina-
tion of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to
be presumed Innocent until proved guilty according to law in a
public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account
of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence un-
der national or international law, at the time when it was committed.
No one shall bt subjected to arbitrary interference with his
privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his
honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection
of the law against such Interference or attacks.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and resi-
dence within the borders of each state.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, Including
his own, and to return to his country.
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other
countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions
genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary
to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality
nor denied the right tc change his nationality.
1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to
race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found
a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during
marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and
full consent of the Intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as
in association with others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and
religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or
belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and
ln public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching,
practice, v/orship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without Interference
and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any
media and regardless of frontiers.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
1. Everyone has the right to take oart in the Government of
his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service
in his country.
3. The will of the peoole shall be the basis of the authority
of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine
elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall
be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social
security and is entitled to realization, through national effort
and international cooperation and in accordance with the organiza-
tion and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cul-
tural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free develop-
ment of his personality.
1. Everyone has the^ right to work, to free choice of employ-
ment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to
equal pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to Just and favourable
remuneration insuring for himself and his family an existence wor-
thy of human dignity, and supplemented , If necessary, by other
means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to Join trade unions
for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasona-
ble limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate
for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, In-
cluding food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary
social services, and the right to security in the event of unem-
ployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack
of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and
assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall
enjoy the same social protection.
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be
free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elemen-
tary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional
education shall be made generally available and higher education
shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of
the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for hu-
man rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding,
tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious
groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for
the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents hsve a prior right to choose the kind of educa-
tion that shall be given to their children.
1. Everyone has the right fre«ly to participate in the cul-
tural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in
scientific advancement and its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and
material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or ar-
tistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in
which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the
free and full development of his personality is -possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone
shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by
law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect
for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the Just re-
quirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a
3. These rights and freedoms may in no cas*- be exercised con-
trary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Nothing in this Declaration may be Interpreted as implying for
any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or
to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights
and freedoms set forth herein. 1
Approved by the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 10, 1948 by a
vote of 48 to 0. Eight countries abstained— the U.S.S.R., the
Ukraine, Byelorussia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Saudi
Arabia], and the Union of South Africa. Universal Declaration of
Human Ri ght a (Department of State publication 3381; 1949).
(References are to selection numbers,
not page numbers.)
Accusation, right to know the
nature of, 11, 16, 20, 23,
Accused: right to be heard, 20,
27, 28, 81
Accused, humane treatment of, 17,
Arms, bearing of, 7, 16
Arrest. See Detention.
Arts, enjoyment of, 27, 81
Assembly, 10, 16, 23, 26,* 27, 57,
60, 62, 81
Association, 27, 51, 76
Asylum, 27, 81
Attainder, bill of, 16, 23, 57
Authority, international, 77, 79,
Bail, 7, 15, 16, 20, 23, 57
Belief, freedom of. See Opinion,
freedom of and Religion, free-
Children: special care, 27, 81
Citizenship. See Nationality.
Colonial peoples, 10, 15, 19, 57,
68, 77, 81
Color. See Nondiscrimination.
Compact, social, 20, 36, 46, 60
Confrontation of accusers (and of
witnesses) by accused, 11, 16,
20, 23, 28, 57
Conscience ( see also Religion, free-
dom of), IS, 35, 51, 72, 81
Contracts, validity of, 15, 16,
Copyright, 27, 81
Correspondence, inviolability and
transmission o f, 27, 81
Counsel, right to have, 8, 16,
20, 23, 57
Cruelty, ( see also Funish-
ments, cruel or unusual)
Cultural life, 27, 81
Debt, imprisonment for, 20,
Decision on petition, right to
Democracy essential to liber-
ty, 32, 33
Detention, 2, 17, 27, 62, 72,
Differ with one's government,
right to, 61
Dignity, 72, 73, 75, 81
"Doing whatever does not in-
jure another", 17, 27, 46,
50, 51, 81
Double Jeopardy, 16, 20, 23,
Due process^ including dep-
rivations by the "law of
the land") , 1, 11, 15, 16,
17, 20, 23, 27, 57
Education, 15, 27,
Elections, free, 7
Equal Justice (and
cess to courts)
17, 20, 23, 27,
48, 63 64, 65,
Equality (of right
17, 20, 23, 27,
42, 50, 52, 54,
65, 58, 81
Evidence, right of
Exile. See Movemen
Ex post facto law,
23, 27, 57, 91
, 11, 27, 81
c, 27, 81
, 1, 3, 16,
30, 36, 47,
s), 11, 12, s
31, 33, 37,
59, 63, 64,
t and Resi-
16, 17, 20,
Expression, freedom of ( see
Hi so Speech, freedom of
and Press, freedom of the),
17, 26, 27, 35, 39, 41, 47,
51, 55, 61, 63, 65, 70, 72,
False witness. 27
Family life, 27, 81
Fear, freedom from, 24, 38, 61,
Fines, reasonable, 7, 15, 16, 20,
Food, 27, 81
Force, abandonment of, 24
Freedom. See Liberty.
Freedom Day, National, 63
Freeholders as Jurors, 7
Government by (or by consent of)
the governed ( see , also Repre-
sentative government), 12,
17, 20, 30, 36, 37, 38, 47,
52, 56, 58, 59, 61, 63, 81
Government for the benefit of
the people, 3, 11, 12, 17,
20, 32, 52, 59, 63
Government (form of), chosen by
the people, 24, 72
Government, participation in, 27,
71, 72, 81
Government, representative. See
Government responsible to the
Government, right to alter the,
12, 20, 73
Guarantees, written, 18, 43, 47,
69, 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78,
Habeas corpus, 6, 9, 15, 16, 20,
"Half a loaf M , 47
Happiness, pursuit of, 11, 12,
Health, 27, 63, 81
Holidays. See Leisure.
Home ( see also Housing). 63
Home, inviolability of ( see also
Searches and seizures), 27
Honor, 27, 81
Hostages, killing of, 25
Housing ( see also Home), 27,
Implementation. See Authority,
Inalienable rights, 10, 11, IS
Indictment, 6, 16, 20
Innocence, presumption of, 17,
Intellectual rights, 46
Intolerance. See Tolerance.
Invest! gat lon7~f*ree do m of, 27
Justice (see also Equal Justic
Justice, definite places of ad
ministration, 1, 8, 16
Know, freedom to, 35, 71, 81
Labor unions, 27, 81
Leisure, 27, 81
Liberty (especially in such
phrases as "life, liberty.
!B? ?g? p f?J y ii; 48; 2J5 il
32, 33, 37, 42, 45, 47, 52
57, 59, 61, 65, 66, 74, 75,
Life, 10, 11, 12, 16, 20, 23,
27, 47, 57, 66, 81
Living standards, 24, 27, 74,
Medical care, 27, 81
Motherhood: special care, 27,
Movement, 1, 13, 27, 81
Murder, 25, 28
Nationality, 19, 27, 81
Natural rights, 3, 10, 11, 37
42, 43, 46
Navigation, 15, 24
Newspapers more essential tha
Nobility, title of. 16
Nondiscrimination (race, col-
or, sex, etc.), 16, 22, 26,
27, 50, 56, 68, 69, 74, 81
Opinion, freedom of ( see also
Speech, freedom of and Press,
freedom of the), 14, 26, 27,
47, 51, 61, 72, 80
Oppression ( see also Tyranny),
Oppression, right to resist, 17
Patents, 27, 82
Persecution (political, racial,
religious), 25, 44
Person, liberty of, 9
Person, recognition as, 27, 81
Petition, 7, 10, 16, 23, 27, 57,
Pregnancy care, 27
Press, freedom of the (including
"freedom to write"), 9, 11,
16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 26, 47,
51, 57, 60/ 62, 71, 77
Private and family life, 27, 81
Property, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 19,
20, 23, 27, 28, 50, 57, 59,
Public employment, 74, 81
Punishment appropriate to the
Punishment prior to conviction,
Punishments, cruel or unusual,
7, 15, 16, 20, 27, 57, 81
Quartering of militia, 2, 16
Race. See Nondiscrimination.
Religion, freedom from taxation
Religion, freedom of, 1, 3, 4,
5, 8, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19,
20, 23, 26, 27, 34, 36, 47,
51, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63,
Religious test for office, 16.
Representative government, 1, 7,
8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 17, 27
Reputation, 27, 28, 82
Residence, 27, 30, 81
Rest. See Leisure.
Safety, 11, 17, 24, 27, 38, 81
Sanctions against violations
( sec Authority, internation-
al^ 1, 4
Sanitary measures, public, 27
Science, benefits of, 27, 81
Searches and seizures, 16, 20,
23, 27, 57, 62, 63
Security. See Safety.
Sex. See Nondiscrimination.
Slave labor, 25
Slavery, 15, 16, 21, 23, 25, 45
57, 58, 63, 64, 81
Social security, 24, 27, 81
Social services, 81
Speech, freedom of, 7, 16, 17,
20, 23, 40, 57, 60, 61, 62,
Strangers, 28, 30
Suffrage, 11, 16, 22, 53, 81
Suspension of laws, 7
Taxation by consent of representa-
tives, 1, 2, 7, 17
Taxation in accordance with fair
principles, 15, 17
Territorial changes: wishes of
the peoples concerned, 24
Testifying against oneself, 16,
20, 23, 57
Thought. See Opinion.
Tolerance, 39, 73, 75, 76, 81
Torture. See Punishments, cruel
Trade, 13, 24
Trade unions. See Labor unions.
Travel. See Movement.
Trial at place of crime, 16
Trial by Jury, 1, 9, 10, 11, 15,
16, 20, 47
Trial, public, 23, 27, 67, 81
Trial, speedy, 11, 16, 20, 23, 27,
Tyranny, 17, 29, 39, -40, 47, 59,
Unions. See Labor unions,
Want, freedom from, 24, 61, 81
Witnesses required for convic-
Witnesses, right to produce, 8,
16, 20, 23
Work, 27, 63, 81
Write. See Press, freedom of the.
ft U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : O
8S]G\]AM YOU NG UN | VERS|TY
3 1197 21209 5480
'^'■^W subject to